A closer look at four key players in Southampton's squad ahead of their visit to the DW Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday.
- Four key Southampton players in profile.
- We pick out a player in each position who could face Latics in the Emirates FA Cup.
- Focus on Alex McCarthy, Wesley Hoedt, James Ward-Prowse and Guido Carrillo.
Alex McCarthy – Goalkeeper
Previous Clubs: Reading, Cambridge United (loan), Aldershot (loan), Yeovil Town (loan), Brentford (loan), Leeds United (loan), Ipswich Town (loan), Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace
A summer signing in 2016, Alex McCarthy has recently stepped in between the sticks at St. Mary’s in place of Fraser Forster, taking over the gloves for the final game of 2017 and keeping his place ever since.
The former Reading, QPR and Crystal Palace stopper had only previously played in Checkatrade Trophy games for Saints this season ahead of his Premier League debut for the club in a 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. McCarthy has since kept one clean sheet in the Premier League and two in the FA Cup, with Salomon Rondon’s stunning volley the only goal to beat the 28-year-old in this year’s competition.
McCarthy emerged on the first team scene at Reading after brief loan spells with Cambridge United, Aldershot, Yeovil Town and Brentford, making his debut as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw against Watford in February 2011 when he replaced Adam Federici.
The stopper made 75 appearances in seven years for the Royals and completed further loan spells with Leeds United and Ipswich Town before signing for QPR in 2014.
McCarthy’s stay at Loftus Road lasted just 12 months, before another 12-month stay with fellow London club Palace ahead of his move to Southampton.
Wesley Hoedt – Defender
Previous Clubs: AZ Alkmaar, Lazio
A 19-year-old debutant for his hometown club AZ Alkmaar in his native Netherlands in December 2013, Wesley Hoedt arrived at St. Mary’s from Italian Serie A side Lazio in the summer.
Now 24, Hoedt has made 24 appearances for Southampton since joining the club and went on to score his first goal for Saints in their 2-1 victory away at West Bromwich Albion in the previous round of the FA Cup.
Hoedt’s career began in the Europa League in the same season that Latics featured in the competition in a 2-2 draw against Greek side PAOK Salonika, before claiming a permanent first team spot the following season. Such were the quality of his performances in 2014-15, Hoedt earned a move to Lazio for the 2015-16 campaign, where he stayed and continued to impress for two years ahead of his move to Southampton.
The 6 foot 2 inch centre back has been capped six times for his country following his international debut as a second half substitute in a 2-0 defeat in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria.
James Ward-Prowse - Midfielder
No previous clubs
A product of Southampton’s impressive academy setup, midfielder James Ward-Prowse continues to hold a crucial place in the club’s midfield, totalling over 200 appearances in red and white since his debut as a 16-year-old in 2011, a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the League Cup.
Three months later and two months after his 17th birthday, Ward-Prowse featured for a second time, scoring his first Saints goal in a 2-1 win away to Coventry City in the FA Cup.
A youth international at four different levels, Ward-Prowse began to impress more-and-more in Saints’ first team setup, so-much-so that he went on to feature 19 times in 2012-13, including a Premier League debut against Manchester City in August 2012, still at the tender age of 17.
Now a full international following his England debut against Germany in March 2017, Ward-Prowse has featured 30 times or more in his last four seasons and looks highly likely to make it five seasons in a row come May.
The midfielder has played 27 times for Saints this season, scoring four goals, including the winner in Southampton’s 1-0 away victory against Fulham in the third round of the FA Cup, with the other three coming in the Premier League in this calendar year.
Guido Carrillo – Forward
Previous Clubs: Estudiantes, AS Monaco
A youth product at Estudiantes in his native Argentina, Guido Carrillo arrived on the south coast from French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco for a reported £19 million during the January transfer window.
The 26-year-old has so far started six of his eight appearances for Southampton following FA Cup and Premier League debuts from the bench against Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively. Carrillo is yet to score a goal for Saints, but has remained in his starting place ahead of Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long.
The Argentinian striker arrived on European shores in 2015 when he joined Monaco having scored 28 goals in 119 appearances for Estudiantes. Carrillo made his debut in August 2015 during a 2-1 victory over Nice, featuring alongside now-familiar names in English football, including Bernardo Silva, Ivan Cavaleiro, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Helder Costa.
Carrillo’s first goal for Monaco came in a 1-1 draw against Caen in December 2015, a game which saw him face former Latics striker Andy Delort. Just over two years later, the striker scored his final goal for Monaco against the same opposition. In total, Carrillo scored 16 times for the Red and Whites.