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THE SIX O'CLOCK MUSE: March 17th

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The Six O'Clock Muse returns. The question we pose this week: is Virgil van Dijk our most important player?

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Virgil van Dijk has been an inspiring summer signing from Southampton manager Ronald Koeman so far.

But, how important is he to the success of Saints' ongoing 2015-16 Premier League campaign?

Here are the Musers' take on the importance of our behemoth Dutch centre half.

Is Virgil van Dijk the most important player in the Saints squad?

Tommy Scott:

One of the few, for sure. I am more worried about him ever missing a game than someone like Fonte or Bertrand mainly because he is so consistently good. I took heat on our Twitter when I didn't name him one of my three stars of the game, and you know what, I completely forgot about him because of his consistency.

I tend to forget certain players are even on the field sometimes and that's usually a good thing. He is doing his job, and not getting talked about for mistakes. Could be a big piece for the future of this club, as long as his mind doesn't go to Liverpool.

Dan Noutch:

He is definitely up there. I'm more concerned about not seeing him on the team sheet than pretty much any other Saints player. He's been so consistent and bullies players physically and aerially.

Since we've moved to a back 3, he's been immense. He can start attacks from the right hand side of the three and advance forward where he looks so threatening. In my opinion, he's one of the most comfortable centre backs on the ball in the league.

Defensively he is so solid, the perfect replacement for Toby and you can tell how highly Ronald Koeman rates him with his recent comments and analysis of his play on Monday Night Football.

Hopefully we can keep hold of him for a while because he's definitely up there with our most influential players.

Jake Hughes:

He's definitely among the most important. I don't think he is as polished as Toby Alderweireld is at the back. But, he is an undeniably massive presence at the back and our defence is most definitely worse off without him.

He is also a big goal threat, whether it's from set pieces or his cannon of a shot - this aspect to his game, I feel, is still rather underrated.

Hopefully we do keep hold of Virgil for a long time. Jose Fonte appears to be slowing somewhat so we'll need a longtime figure to lead our defence for years to come.

Connor Armstrong:

I'm going to say no. I think that title goes to Fraser Forster. However, I wouldn't like to see our back-line without Virgil for any spell of time. However, I think Ryan Bertrand has given us some reassurance that he could fill in alongside José Fonte at the heart of the defence.

That's not to discredit Virgil, though. He's superb at both ends of the pitch and a real monster on his day. His aerial dominance is frightening.

Daniel Vaughan:

Yes. Much like Toby was for us last year. Not that I have anything against Yoshi, but the guy is class.

Fingers crossed we can keep hold of a centre back for more than a year for a change...

Paul Johnson:

Probably. The only competition would be Forster, who I think has shown he's almost indispensable.

Apart from those two, I'd say Bertrand and Long are pretty important, and increasingly Clasie is starting to cement his importance to the team.