Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern were again left significantly underwhelmed by their side over the weekend after seeing the Saints go down 1-0 at home to Burnley, in turn suffering their fourth Premier League defeat of the campaign.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s men went into their clash with the high-flying Clarets unbeaten in three league games, and would have been confident of recording a fourth victory of the season at St Mary’s on Saturday. However, they were unable to do so as a Sam Vokes header nine minutes from time sealed a 1-0 win for Sean Dyche’s side, who in turn moved level on points with Arsenal in sixth and Liverpool in fifth, while the Saints slipped to 13th and just four points clear of the bottom three.
Thus, many of our resident Southampton fans were left despondent and bitterly disappointed with their team over the weekend, but they could well be reassured by a recent report from The Southern Daily Echo, which details some intriguing comments from defender Virgil van Dijk.
The 26-year-old moved to St Mary’s back in 2015 and has seriously impressed in the heart of the Saints backline, so much so that he was heavily linked with a move away during the summer transfer window, and actually handed in a transfer request in a bid to force a deal through.
And although he remained a Southampton player beyond the August 31 deadline, the Dutchman back in October admitted that he was still hopeful of a move away in the winter, although he appears to have moved on from what happened by confirming his commitment to the South Coast club.
He said: ‘I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on anything that happened before.
‘I’m giving 100 per cent for the club, I work hard every day, I help my team-mates and I’m positive and I want to win every game.
‘That’s the situation right now.’
These comments are likely to interest and perhaps uplift Saints fans who have seen van Dijk start their last five Premier League games, and although he made a sluggish start to the campaign, he has certainly been better and more solid in recent weeks.
But whether that is enough to win over Southampton supporters remains to be seen.
Landlord’s verdict: Virgil van Dijk’s proposed move away from Southampton dominated the latter part of the summer transfer window, and it has continued to do since the close of the market on August 31.
The Dutchman admitted back in October that he was still hopeful of something happening in January, yet has recently said that he is firmly committed to the Saints, in comments which are likely to seriously interest Southampton fans up and down the country.
But the damage with the St Mary’s faithful may have already been done given what has previously happened, but given that Mauricio Pellegrino’s men have made an underwhelming start to the campaign, they may need a fully fit and firing van Dijk to aid them in their quest for a fifth successive top half finish.
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