What comes in the form of a major respite to the St Marys faithful, is the news that bets across UK have finally been stashed owing to Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk’s imminent arrival to Southampton FC. Pretty convoluted is it? Well for a change, a different introduction to a post!
With a largely disappointing summer transfer window reaching the final week, the owners Southampton FC seem to have finally answered the manager’s call and signed Celtic man Virgil Van Dijk for an estimated €11million. Reports of an imminent deal started flowing in through the weekend with a number of local papers coming up with news from around the Scottish Club. Having been amongst their most influential players in recent years, news of the departure of the Holland International has not gone down well amongst the club faithful, although there was very little that the club could have done to stop the transfer. And with Celtic crashing out of the Champions League this season, the last piece of the puzzle seems to have been set.
With a number of their top quality players leaving this season, Southampton too, will heave a sigh of relief having roped in a quality centre-back amidst all the interest. The 23 year old defender has been linked with a number of top division clubs in recent times, and the south England Club will be pleased to have acquired the player’s services for a somewhat agreeable fee. With the prospect of the player being a long term asset for the club, Coach Ronald Koeman will be happy to pair up Van Dijk with his main man in the back, Jose Fonte. Having lost Toby Alderwiereld to Tottenham this summer as well as youngster Florin Gardos to a long term injury, the Dutch manager has had to deal with a wafer thin squad to his disposal. In addition, the make shift defenses have been leaky owing to the departure of Nataniel Clyne and the injury to Ryan Bertrand. The capture of the 6’4 defender at this time is likely to provide the team with a much needed boost.
In Van Dijk, the team has got a complete centre-back too. In fact, during Celtic’s exploits in the Champions League over the last few seasons, the Holland International has been able to showcase serious quality, leading to many manager across Europe to set their sights on the player. With a sturdy frame to match, the 6’4 tall centre back is extremely adept in the air without compromising on his agility. In fact, his composure with the ball in feet at the back of defense, allows a certain calm to exist in a team’s backline. However, at a relatively yong age, the player has at times, been criticized for over-doing with the ball at feet.
All of it aside, the former Arsenal and Liverpool target is set to move to St Marys by the end of this week with a deal worth €11 million plus performance based addons ironed out. With considerable hype building up around the player, it will be interesting to see how effectively and how fast Virgil adapts to the English game
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