- Virgil van Dijk set to make first appearance v Liverpool since summer transfer saga
- Centre-back still wants Anfield switch and we still want him…
- But Saints boss Pellegrino says VVD will be fully focussed on victory
- SEE MORE: Van Dijk changes tact in attempt to force Liverpool move
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino is confident Virgil van Dijk will be at his best on Saturday at Anfield against Liverpool.
It’ll be the first time Jurgen Klopp’s primary defensive transfer target has played against the club he so desperately wanted to join in the summer since our failed pursuit.
Klopp met with van Dijk and sold him his Red Revolution, but Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an an illegal approach and despite van Dijk’s transfer request, the deal was doomed from then onwards.
Van Dijk has made no secret of his desire to play for Liverpool, so it’ll interesting to see how well he does at the weekend, in what’s basically an audition in which we want him to fail enough to ensure we emerge as victors – but not enough to put fans off his potential signing!
“I do not think it will be difficult [for Van Dijk] because Virgil knows he is focused 100 per cent on our team and is training well,” Pellegrino told the Telegraph.
“He wants to improve his performances because he was injured in March and then he did not play any games. Obviously we cannot control the market and every single transfer window clubs are looking to buy our players.
“But we are looking for players to try to improve our squad too. It’s part of our job. Football today is a big business and we have to understand this.
“Now clubs are fighting in the market to find the best player and we have a lot of good players. It’s no secret that sometimes players are distracted but it’s normal.”
Liverpool, at some point, will go back in for the Netherlands international.
Klopp has refused to target any other centre-backs, so has little choice but to sanction a bid – hopefully in January.
Southampton will again do their best to keep hold of van Dijk, but like us with Coutinho, you can’t keep an unhappy player at your club forever.