A pillar of Southampton but is van Dijk worth the money?

Russell Pope

Virgil van Dijk has attracted interest from a whole host of Premier League clubs as well other top European outfits. But Does Virgil Van Dijk justify the £50million price tag circling him?

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are swarming around the 26-year-old despite having a six-year contract with the Saints

The former Celtic defender has been a revelation for the Saints since his arrival from the Scottish Champions – Southampton look set to at least quadruple the £12million they paid for him.

The 6ft’4 defender has gained praise from multiple pundits and sports personalities alike. Praise for his strength, intelligence, skill and his ability to distribute the ball out from the defensive line superbly; van Dijk is the complete modern-day centre-back.

The Dutchman’s stats for this season are incredible; Squawka show van Dijk to be the most influential player at Southampton this season despite his injury lay off. van Dijk has an impressive 67% aerial duel-winning percentage. The Dutchman has also accumulated with a pass accuracy of 84%. With just one defensive mistake all season, there’s no wonder why the big clubs are circling for the Dutchman’s signature.

Does Virgil Van Dijk justify £50 million?
Van Dijk celebrates scoring vs Spurs in December.
Source: Twitter

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Does Virgil Van Dijk justify £50 million?

With defenders like John Stones costing £50million it’s easy to see why the ballpark figure has been splashed around. Both defenders are symmetrical in their playing styles. Two extremely talented defenders like van Dijk and John Stones are hard to come around. When they do they are a gem for clubs that aim to take on the modern playing style by playing out from the back and defenders like van Dijk are increasingly coming into demand.

Where is Van Dijk’s preferred destination?

van Dijk has gone on record saying he is happy at Southampton, since being handed the captain’s armband. European football, twinned with the doubling of his £70k wages could prove too much to turn down. Liverpool is the closest team on the list to playing the way Southampton play, with emphasis on ball retention and getting the ball into the attacking players to unleash their flair.

Whilst Chelsea, with the Italian’s 3-4-3 tactic and Guardiola’s willingness to experiment to get the best out of his City squad are different to what van Dijk has become accustom to, the Dutchman has shown that he is capable of adapting extremely quickly.

van Dijk has had to adapt in Southampton, since losing his formidable centre-back partnership with Jose Fonte. The latter sought pastures new at West Ham United. And the Dutchman also adapted to the playing three at the back under Ronald Koeman. van Dijk has shown that no matter where he ends up, he is more than capable of adapting to his new surroundings quickly.


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