Familiar face returns to Southampton FC | OneFootball

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Football League World

·16 November 2023

Familiar face returns to Southampton FC

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Southampton have had a memorable face return to their training ground this week as Maya Yoshida has come back after he departed the club in 2020.

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Yoshida had a memorable time at Southampton as he spent eight years at the club after he moved from Dutch side VVV-Venlo in 2012.

He was a valued member of the squad who went on to compete for European places and eventually qualified for the Europa League in 2016.

Overall he played 194 games for the club and popped up with nine goals under seven different permanent managers, now at 35 years old he finds himself back at the place he used to call home.

Why is Maya Yoshida back at Southampton?

The Japanese international left the club back in 2020 to join Serie A side Sampdoria after a successful loan spell.

He spent two years in Italy before having a spell at Schalke in Germany before then moving to America to join the famous MLS side LA Galaxy this year.

Due to the American football campaign being over for the sides who have not reached the play-offs, players in that league are now essentially off on their break before it starts again in February.

So Yoshida is training at Southampton to keep himself fit according to the Daily Echo - in order to be prepared for the new campaign which is a few months away.

In 2023 he played 12 games, becoming a regular for the club and even had the captaincy for the last few matches of the season however they only managed to finish 13th in the table.

Could Yoshida play for Southampton again?

Something which used to be a regular occurrence in the Premier League was clubs borrowing MLS players for short-term loans before their season started again.

The most famous short-term loan was Thierry Henry's return to Arsenal from New York Red Bulls as the Gunners' legend scored two vitals goals against Leeds United and Sunderland on his return.

As well as Henry the most renowned player to do this in England was Landon Donovan, who joined Everton on loan in 2010 and 2012.

Robbie Keane joined Aston Villa in 2012 from LA Galaxy and Clint Dempsey also did it when he came back to Fulham in 2014 from Seattle Sounders.

In other European leagues, David Beckham joined AC Milan back in 2009 which was a controversial move at the time as he had not long been at LA Galaxy.

So it is certainly possible for Yoshida to come back and give Southampton some cover at the back for just over a month.

Manager Russell Martin has at times had to resort to playing Shea Charles at centre-back too, and with Mason Holgate not living up to expectations, there could be a need to bring in another defender.

So who else would be better than an experienced head like Yoshida who knows the club as well as anyone?

However, Martin may want someone who can stay for years to come but if Yoshida trains well whilst he is there he may just convince the manager to bring him in for extra cover.

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