Lazio have officially sold defender Wesley Hoedt to Southampton in a deal worth a reported €17m. “It’s a good next step for me.”
He underwent a medical yesterday and signed the five-year contract this evening.
“I'm really happy to be here. I think Southampton is a really big club, so it's a good next step for me to come here and to play in the Premier League and try to help the best I can,” Hoedt told southamptonfc.com.
“Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Dutch international centre-back Wesley Hoedt, from Lazio,” read a statement.
“The sought-after 23-year-old today put pen to paper on a five-year contract at St Mary’s, becoming Saints' third arrival of the summer.”
Hoedt had joined Lazio as a free agent in 2015 from AZ Alkmaar, so this represents an impressive financial deal for the Aquile.
“Wesley is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and represents a significant addition to our squad. Having procured a Champions League finalist from one Italian club we have now added an Italian Supercoppa winner from another,” Vice Chairman (Football) Les Reed told the club website.
“We believe he has all the qualities to play a big part in our future, and we have worked hard to bring him to Southampton, with a number of other high-profile clubs interested in him.
“Finding a top quality central defender is difficult in the current environment and now we have six internationals in this position, both young and experienced.
“Finding a naturally left-footed player is even more difficult. We have been tracking central defenders on our target list for the past 12 months and Wesley has always been at the top of that list, so it was important to act when the opportunity came.
“Wesley has proven his talent through his performances for Lazio, as well as the Netherlands, and we believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international teammate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos.
“With Wesley joining those players, we believe we have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility at centre-back to help us achieve our aims this season.”
Image via southamptonfc.com