Published: Mon, December 18, 2017
Sports | By Toni Houston

Virgil van Dijk dropped as Southampton boss questions his commitment

Virgil van Dijk dropped as Southampton boss questions his commitment

The 26-year-old was criticised for his performance in Southampton's 4-1 defeat against Leicester City in the week and Pellegrino hinted at the reason for dropping Van Dijk.

A Marcos Alonso free-kick was enough to clinch victory for the Blues, but it was the man who spent the entire match on the substitutes' bench that caused most intrigue.

Van Dijk has been reintegrated back into the Southampton side, making 12 Premier League appearances this season.

Chelsea were one of the clubs, along with Liverpool and Arsenal, who were interested in signing £70 million-rated Van Dijk during the summer, while Manchester City are known to want central defensive cover in the next transfer window.

He said: 'As you know very well, I don't like to talk about players of the other team.

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"Obviously Virgil is an important player", Pellegrino said after the game. It always depends how they are, how the energy they've got in every training session.

The Saints were left furious with Liverpool and their pursuit, and sources close to Southampton made it clear that the last thing they wanted to do was to allow the player to move to Anfield.

The Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes the Dutch defender would add much needed steel to his back line and he is ready to pay top dollar for his services.

"I have my opinion, I have to give to the technical director and the chairman my opinion, but the club will decide what's best".

"I will recommend to try to keep our best player here in the club". Virgil Van Dijk is clearly a hugely talented player who would improve nearly any team on the planet but £70 million is a lot of money for a centre-back.

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