Why Southampton sending Maya Yoshida on loan doesn’t make sense
According to Southampton’s twitter handle, the club the have allowed Japanese international Maya Yoshida to leave on loan. BBC has confirmed that Yoshida has joined Serie A side Sampdoria for the rest of the season, with his contract at St. Mary’s Stadium coming to an end this summer.
Yoshida, 31, joined Southampton from Dutch side VVV Venlo in the summer of 2012. He has been a stellar player for the club. Though he may not have been a talented player, his contribution and commitment for seven and a half years cannot be understated.
He has made 194 appearances for the club, scoring 9 goals and providing 4 assists. He also captained the club on several occasions. The centre-back won the Asia Cup with his national team in 2011.
Having been a consistent member of the squad in the past 7 years, Yoshida struggled for game time this season under Ralph Hasenhuttl. He has managed to play in just 11 games across all competitions and as a result, he has been sent on loan.
Meanwhile, the Saints have managed to put off their disappointing start to the season and have are placed 13th in the league.
In the latter stages of the campaign, they have won games against top clubs like Chelsea, Leicester City and Tottenham. Star striker Danny Ings has led the line brilliantly, contributing with 14 goals in the league, and their offensive unit looks to be improving.
However, their defence has struggled to maintain a tight line and has conceded 46 goals in 25 games, one of the worst records this campaign. And to add to their imbalance, Portuguese international and experienced campaigner Cedric Soares also has been sent on loan to rivals Arsenal.
In that situation, letting Yoshida leave without proper backup could put them in serious troubles in the latter stages of the season.
The 31-year-old is capable of playing on both sides of the central defence and has also been helpful while playing as a right-back. Danish international Jannik Vestergaard has not performed to expectations. Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens have formed a good partnership but if any of them gets injured, the manager would face a crisis without any other natural centre-back.
Yoshida should have been kept hold of as he would have helped them in demanding situations. His experience could have been useful in the latter stages of the season.
Letting the Japanese international join Sampdoria could prove costly for the Saints as his presence would have helped the club in important moments of the season.