Southampton fans stunned by one aspect of Wesley Hoedt's game against Crystal Palace

Mauricio Pellegrino, Manager of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Watford at St Mary's Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Southampton, England.

Wesley Hoedt showed why Southampton signed him in Saturday's 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Wesley Hoedt of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton and Watford at St Mary's Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Southampton, England.

Southampton have struck gold again. The Saints have turned player recruitment into an art form in recent seasons, unearthing under-the-radar gems while their domestic rivals pay top dollar for shiny custom-cut diamonds.

And, after landing Virgil van Dijk, Cedric Soares, Ryan Bertrand and co for next to nothing in today’s market, the summer additions of Mario Lemina and Wesley Hoedt from Serie A giants Juventus and Lazio only exacerbates the feeling that no one does recruitment quite as efficiently as Southampton.

Lemina may have been a step below Juve quality but the Gabonese international looks a cut above on the South Coast, dominating the midfield as the Saints picked up three vital points away at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Wesley Hoedt of Southampton in action during the Premier League match between Southampton and Watford at St Mary's Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Southampton, England.

As a result, the performance of Dutch centre-back Hoedt somewhat slipped under the radar. A £15 million signing (The Guardian), the 23-year-old was assumed to be a replacement for compatriot Van Dijk.

And although the in-demand defender will remain at St Mary’s this season despite handing in a transfer request in the summer, Hoedt looks every inch his perfect successor when Van Dijk eventually does depart.

Virgil van Dijk of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016...

Calm and composed in possession, his long-range passing was a joy to behold. And he wasn’t too bad defensively either, making two interceptions and nine clearances as Roy Hodgson’s return to the Premier League dugout ended in defeat.

And it is fair to say Saints fans have a new hero.

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