The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their side will show plenty of improvement following the international break.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have begun the season in plainly average form, as only 4 Premier League sides have recorded less than the 9 goals Southampton have mustered up so far this season. They currently sit in 13th in the table, just 4 points adrift of the relegation zone, and they will be looking to move clear of a relegation dog-fight with an upturn in results during the weeks to come.
At the other end of the pitch, The Saints have been in impressive form with only 11 goals conceded from the same number of fixtures. Wantaway star Virgil Van Dijk was left out of the early-season encounters after a summer of speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool turned relations sour at the club, but he has since returned to start all of the last 5 matches.
The saga does not appear to have reached its conclusion just yet, as The Mirror report Liverpool are set to make another approach for the Dutch international in January.
If Southampton can squeeze £70 million out of Liverpool in January then they should cash in on Van Dijk and seek to add new talent to the current squad.
At this moment in time, Southampton are your quintessential mid-table side, far too good to go down but lacking the quality or mentality to make a genuine push for Europe. While their meteoric rise through the leagues was largely based on clever recruitment from Les Reed, the process looks to be wearing a little thin right now.
With Van Dijk’s heart clearly set on a move to Anfield, Southampton should allow him to leave and put an end to this distracting side-story that will only serve to stagnate their progress.
If Pellegrino is granted permission from the board to reinvest the £70 million from Van Dijk’s sale into the purchase of 3 quality players right down the spine of his team, then Southampton will be in prime position to return to the Europa League.