The Dutch centre-back, who arrived at St Mary’s from Lazio for £15 million in August 2017, had played every minute of Saints’ Premier League campaign until being dropped to the bench for their 2-2 draw with Manchester United on December 1.
New manager Ralph Hassenhuttl subsequently arrived five days later and Hoedt didn’t play a single minute of football under the Austrian, dropping out of the matchday squad altogether for the south coast side's last six league matches.
“It’s been very strange,” Hoedt told Dutch newspaper Noordhollands Dagblad. (opens in new tab)
“I played everything. Almost 50 games in a row I was in the starting line-up and I played 90 minutes, until I suddenly came to be marginalised. I never had a clear explanation.
“This is the best solution. A nice club in a nice competition. This way I can show that I didn’t play a lot of matches at Lazio and Southampton for nothing.”
Celta, who are currently 17th in La Liga, have the option to sign Hoedt permanently at the end of his loan.
However, the 24-year-old insists he isn’t out for revenge or to prove a point to his former employers.
“No, I don’t feel that way,” he said.
“What I said: I just want to continue with what I was doing. I did well at Lazio and at Southampton. I want to continue that here.”
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.