Southampton fans discuss possible Van Dijk return to starting lineup

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.