Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk continued to build his match fitness when he started and scored for the Under-23s in their win against Stoke City on Monday night, and Saints fans were quick to have their say on the Dutchman.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) September 18, 2017
The centre-back returned to the first-team fold as a late substitute in the Premier League victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday following eight months on the sidelines because of injury – and an eventful summer where he failed to get the move that he wanted.
Mauricio Pellegrino obviously decided that the Netherlands international needed more game time in the 3-0 win against the Potters, with a view to potentially returning to the starting line-up for the clash against Manchester United at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Van Dijk scored the opening goal in the 14th minute with a bullet header from Matt Targett’s corner, while he also won the penalty that Targett converted in the second half to wrap up the three points.
Southampton supporters were quick to give their thoughts on the 26-year-old’s performance via social media, and while some simply said that “he’s back”, others said that he proved “form is temporary, class is permanent”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
— Lee Payne (@lpp28) September 18, 2017
don’t know what to even make of this
— Joe. (@WardPrxwse) September 18, 2017
Form is temporary, class is permanent 🖒
— Andy Bone (@BoneAndy) September 18, 2017
@Nikisha1701 He's back.. 😝
— Emma (@emmalfaux) September 18, 2017
Any player that pulls on the shirt will get my support. But VVD has a long way to go to re-earn my respect. #saintsfc
— Ant James (@antonydjames) September 19, 2017
VVD looking more like the van Dijk of old. Just makes everything look so easy #saintsfc
— Russell Carey (@Fuffell) September 18, 2017
VvD's having a really decent game for the under 23's….solid in defence, creating good chances and scored a lovely goal. 🙌🏽 #saintsfc
— Lucy Holland 💫 (@LucyVHolland) September 18, 2017
VVD is back #Saintsfc
— Colin Dyke (@BaddesleyBill) September 18, 2017