When Saints had Toby Alderweireld last season, we thought we had it made, then he left and we panicked. The pretty known target for Southampton was Celtic's Virgil van Dijk, a good defender, but we weren't sure how good he would turn out to be.
Van Dijk's worst games were his first few, and he only got better from there. You could see the adaptations he made to the league very quickly, and became one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. While I do miss Toby, personally I prefer Virg.
Van Dijk's got the aerial ability, the marking, blocks, tackles, heading in goals, clearing the ball. Notice a trend? He is really, really good.
Virgil Van Dijk occasionally likes to get into the attack, mainly on corners and big attack pushes. He is good at intercepting a pass and dribbling through midfield. He is a smart player, knows where to pass at the right time and is always focused.
Signing a new contract has really put the icing on the cake for most Saints fans, knowing that we'll have Van Dijk for at least another season. A new contract that came out of the blue, Van Dijk was locked down for six years, and at age 24, he has the chance to become one of the best CBs in the world.
Van Dijk scored three goals, with no assists. The Dutch defender has a mean free-kick too. He is very powerful with his strike, and one day a few of those kicks will find their way into the net. For now though, we'll take his headers into goal.
SMM Final Grade: 9/10
SMM Summary: A truly incredible signing, Van Dijk replaced Alderweireld very quickly. It's difficult to think about what could've been if we had both at the back, but that's just not feasible, and I'm still happy with our captain, Jose Fonte. He will be a centerpiece for years to come in the defense, and is a great player for the youngsters to watch and improve themselves. I'm excited for what the future of the club holds with Van Dijk around.