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Southampton keep their stance on van Dijk despite Wesley arrival

Wesley Hoedt 22-07-2017 Auronzo di Cadore Ritiro estivo 2017-2018 SS Lazio Amichevole SS Lazio Vs Spal @ Marco Rosi / Fotonotizia

The Saints have confirmed their stance on van Dijk once again.

Southampton are holding firm to their defender Virgil van Dijk. The club came up with an official statement clarifying that former Lazio centre-back Wesley Hoedt is not there to replace his fellow countryman, but develop alongside him.

Hoedt joined the Premier League club on a five-year deal for £15m. He is also the second fullback to sign with Southampton following the arrival of Mauricio Pellegrino from Jan Bednarek for £5.7m.

Given the arrival of two centre-backs, the speculations regarding van Dijk will intensify even more, but the Saints are adamant on their decision to not sell the Dutchman regardless of his desire to leave the club.

“Wesley is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and represents a significant addition to our squad,” Reed said in an official statement.

“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.

“We believe [Wesley] can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international team-mate 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 to help us achieve our aims this season.”