It has been eight months since Virgil van Dijk started a game for Southampton, and there is still no indication as to when the defender will return to the first XI.
The Dutchman was a big talking point in Mauricio Pellegrino’s pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Van Dijk tried to instigate a move away from St Mary’s in the summer by submitting a transfer request amid reported interest from Liverpool and Chelsea.
However, the Saints held firm and refused to sanction a sale before eventually welcoming the defender back into the first team.
An ankle injury has kept Van Dijk on the sidelines for a lengthy spell, but he made his first appearance since January by coming off the bench in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
The former Celtic player has been in the matchday squad for the past two Premier League games, but Pellegrino has not confirmed when the centre-back will start, but he is expected to be included against Stoke City on Saturday.
The fans have had their say on the matter, while others are just pleased to see Van Dijk enjoying himself in training.
But is that what he deserves?? ? what loyal player has to be dropped for someone who doesn't even want to be at the club?! #SaintsFC
— JB22 (@JoBailey22) September 28, 2017
Cmon he's too good to be on bench
— neaty7 (@jamesneate79) September 28, 2017
I honestly would be happy never to see VVD play for the first team again. I totally despise the over paid brat. Play young Jack Stephens!!
— MIKEBARCELONA (@SAINTBARCELONA) September 28, 2017
I think Yoshida deserves to keep his place this weekend and start ahead of van Dijk ?? #saintsfc
— N.I.S. ? (@NI_Saints) September 28, 2017
Glad to see Virgil looking happy to be there
— JDUBS (@justinkrause) September 28, 2017
Virgil looks well up for it!
— Mark Baldwin (@markswan52) September 28, 2017