Three reasons Claude Puel’s comments on Van Dijk mean little

Southampton manager Claude Puel says he expects Virgil van Dijk to start next season with the club as speculation continues over the Saints skipper’s future.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference before the south coast outfit’s Premier League clash against Arsenal at St Mary’s on Wednesday night, he gave an update on the Dutch defender’s fitness with the 25-year-old missing since January because of an ankle injury.

In his comments, the French boss said that he believes the directors want to keep Van Dijk at the club and that he expects him to be available for the first game of next season.

Despite being on the sidelines since the start of 2017 and being unlikely to make a comeback until pre-season, the Netherlands international is still said to be a £50m target for the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal this summer.

Because of incidences involving Southampton players over the course of the past few summers, perhaps it wasn’t wise for Puel to speak out on the captain’s future.

Here are three reasons his comments on Van Dijk’s future mean little…