Having not kicked a ball in a senior match since January, the chase for Virgil van Dijk looks to take another twist as he looks set to return to first-team duty for Southampton. Given his abysmal performance in the U23 league for Southampton, though, being at the heart of a 0-4 loss, would fans be happy to see him return to the side?
Van Dijk has endured an interesting period of time, having made clear his desire to move on in the summer. While it never happened, he was open about his intentions and looks to have soured relations with the fan. However, new coach Mauricio Pellegrino seems to have no worries about throwing the Dutchman back into his side.
“Virgil was training well. He played 90 minutes the other day, the reserve game,” the Argentine coach told the press who had assembled in his pre-match press conference for the game against Crystal Palace.
“But tomorrow [Friday] we will decide [whether he features against Palace]. Hopefully he will be getting better every single week but I am happy with that – not just about Virgil because everybody I think is ready to be part of the team.”
Will this attempt to reintegrate the ailing star work? Or would Saints be best to try and avoid their asset losing any of his considerable value until a move in January?
His performance against the Eagles will go some way to deciding if he has his head or heart in the South Coast, or elsewhere.