In Focus: Van Dijk’s latest quotes suggest he still wants Southampton exit

According to an interview he conducted with the Southern Daily Echo, Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk says he is “happy” and “giving 100 per cent” for the club despite wanting to leave St Mary’s during the summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, it was well-documented that Van Dijk was keen to move on from the south coast outfit during the summer transfer window, and the 26-year-old handed in a transfer request just days before the start of the new Premier League season.

However, Southampton rejected it and potential suitors Liverpool were forced to cool their interest in the Netherlands international with an official statement earlier in the summer after Saints accused them of tapping their star up.

Having been on the sidelines since January with a foot injury and with the furore surrounding his future, Van Dijk didn’t make his first appearance of the campaign until the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in September, and he has started all but one of the club’s matches since then.

The centre-back insists he is happy though, with the rumours likely to ramp up again in the coming weeks with the January window now less than two months away.

What did he say?

Speaking to the Southern Daily Echo, Van Dijk said: “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.

“I’m happy and that’s the most important thing. We’ll see what happens.

“I’m just getting back to pace and I feel like I’ve been growing every game.”

Is he telling the truth?

Yes and no.

The 26-year-old knows that he needs to get his head down, be committed and play well if he wants to secure a move away from St Mary’s in the future, and he has shown glimpses of the quality he has brought to the side since his move from Celtic in 2015.

However, he has also appeared to lack a little effort at times and the “we’ll see what happens” quote is particularly telling, as it seems to suggest that he is still hopeful of leaving the south coast outfit.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, despite Van Dijk’s comments it seems certain he will leave either in January or next summer, and Liverpool could ramp up their interest in the New Year considering the defensive troubles they have had this season.