The accepted answer doesn't answer OP's question:
I was wondering if I am doing anything wrong here and if I can set this so the locale is not required
There is a way to ensure only used locales are deployed.
You can employ GetPageSpeed n98-magerun2 commands for the job, e.g.:
php ./bin/magento setup:static-content:deploy $(n98-magerun2 deploy:locale:active)
You can save it to a script which is part of your deployment workflow, and then no matter what actual locales are used, only they will be "deployed", without having to hardcode them anywhere.