A miserable return for Southampton Under-23 side at Villa Park continued the theme of 26-year-old Virgil Van Dijk’s summer. The centre back featured in the 0 – 4 defeat at the hands of their Aston Villa counterparts.
Liverpool’s misdemeanours in tapping up the Dutch international early in the summer led to The Saints making a formal complaint – subsequently withdrawn – that their influential defender had been ‘tapped up’.
It wasn’t the introduction to the club new head coach Mauricio Pellegrino wanted nor the behaviour expected of the club captain. The former Alaves boss, currently struggling to win over St Mary’s, immediately consigned Van Dijk to the reserves.
Southampton made a dreadful start to this season and currently languish in thirteenth place, just two points above the bottom three in the Premier League. Fans are unhappy with the style of play under the Argentinian coach which has yet to yield the consistency previously enjoyed.
The Belfast Telegraph reports their season could be about to get worse: Liverpool are set to return with a new bid to sign Van Dijk in January and are 2/1 to succeed in taking the Dutch international to Anfield.
Journalist Ian McGarry claims the deal is likely to happy because Van Dijk isn’t cup-tied for European competition. That means Southampton can still charge a hefty fee for their prize asset. It’s likely to start a bidding war with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all sniffing around the centre back this summer.