Saints loan out duo before deadline passes

Southampton
Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt has joined Royal Antwerp.

Southampton have loaned out Wesley Hoedt and Mario Lemina to Royal Antwerp and Galatasaray respectively for the rest of the season.

Lemina, who turned 26 on Sunday, has made 52 appearances since arriving at St Mary’s from Juventus in 2017, but he has been heavily linked with a move away from the club throughout the summer.

The midfielder was known to be on the wanted list of Wolves, and possibly Arsenal, but the Premier League transfer deadline came and went without a deal being struck.

Thankfully for him and Saints, the European transfer window remained open, and still presented him with the opportunity to get a move away, with Monaco and Besiktas among the clubs interested.

However, it is Turkish giants Galatasaray, who have swooped in and Lemina will now be looking to get his career back on track in Istanbul.

The Gabon international follows former Premier League players Ryan Babel, Steven Nzonzi and Sofiane Feghouli to the Turk Telekom Stadium.

It is a huge opportunity for Lemina, as Galatasaray will also be up against Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid in the Champions League, as well as battling for domestic honours.

There has been no mention over whether Gala have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the term, so there is a chance Lemina could still have a future with Saints.

The departure of Lemina was not the only bit of business to go through on Monday, as Saints defender Hoedt also headed for the exit door.

Hoedt has joined Belgian Pro League side Royal Antwerp, also on a season-long loan deal, in the hope of getting more regular action under his belt.

The Netherlands international, who cost Saints £15million when he arrived from Lazio in 2017, made 13 Premier League appearances in 2018-19 before ending the season on loan with La Liga side Celta Vigo.

Hoedt still has three years remaining on his contract at St Mary’s and again it remains to be seen if his switch to Antwerp will become permanent.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttle is starting to make this squad his own and has been more than happy to move on those players who will not figure in his plans this season.

As well as Lemina and Hoedt, Norwegian winger Mohamed Elyounoussi joined Celtic from Saints on another season-long loan over the weekend, in the hope of getting more action under his belt.

With all windows now closed until January, the Saints boss has a settled squad to work with over the next few months.

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