FAB Virgil: Five Premier League destinations for in-demand Van Dijk
Van Dijk next club odds
You’ve hardly been able to pick up a paper in recent months without seeing Southampton and Netherlands centre back Virgil van Dijk linked to a Premier League heavyweight.
Poor Saints are among the most frequent victims of elite top-flight teams poaching their talented players, and if the tabloids are to be believed this one is no exception.
Coming in to the Boxing Day fixtures, 25-year-old Van Dijk helped Southampton keep four clean sheets in six league games and even skippered the south coast club in a derby victory over Bournemouth. They sit seventh in the table and are 9/2 chances with Coral for a top six finish.
When Premier League big boys go marching in, the Saints usually sell at a good price, so Coral experts assess Van Dijk next club odds and give five potential destinations for the Dutchman…
If you’re going to make a winter window move, then why not to the league leaders? Blues boss Antonio Conte is linked with adding to his defensive options, and former Juventus charge Leonardo Bonucci’s recent signing of a new deal with the Old Lady means other targets must be looked at.
While Chelsea re-signed David Luiz during the summer for a reported £20m less than they sold him to PSG for, Gary Cahill and long-serving Stamford Bridge skipper John Terry are both north of 30.
Van Dijk, 7/2 to make Chelsea his new home, is certainly good enough to follow in the footsteps of defensive Dutch compatriots Mario Melchiot, Winston Bogarde and Jeffrey Bruma at the Blues.
Prior to Boxing Day, the Toffees had kept just one clean sheet in 13 Premier League games and none in November or December. The seasoned Goodison Park centre back pairing of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams would seem to need some younger legs competing with them, then.
Like Cahill and Terry at Chelsea, both Wales skipper Williams and Everton club captain Jagielka are over 30, with Argentina international Ramiro Funes Mori their only senior competition.
What may appeal most about the Toffees to Van Dijk, though, is he could once again link up with former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, who moved to Merseyside as Roberto Martinez’s successor this summer. Everton are long shots at 20/1 odds to be Van Dijk’s next club.
Aleksandar Kolarov at centre back. Really? Yes, that’s what Pep Guardiola does to a team. The result is one clean sheet in nine across all competitions for Man City going into Boxing Day.
Etihad captain Vincent Kompany has become increasingly injury-prone in recent times and absent from the team as a result. A commanding presence at the back is thus needed.
City have splashed big on other defenders who have arguably flopped, John Stones and Eliaquim Mangala being key examples. Van Dijk, at next club odds of 6/4 to move to Man City, would need to apply himself better at the Etihad than the ball-playing centre half or loaned out man mountain.
Most of the Anfield faithful will tell you where they’re lacking most is in defence with the left back and centre half berths cause for concern. Liverpool have also raided Southampton for signings before, with Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana current examples.
Although Jurgen Klopp will be buoyed by the news Cameroon international Joel Matip is boycotting the Africa Cup of Nations January, that doesn’t change the fact his Reds struggle to keep out the opposition at times.
Of the current top nine going into Boxing Day, only Merseyside rivals Everton and West Bromwich Albion have conceded more Premier League goals than Liverpool. If building on his Saints displays, Van Dijk could shore things up for Klopp at the back for sure and is 8/1 to play in front of the Kop next.
Reports suggest Jose Mourinho will be looking for a new defender in January, though Sweden’s rising star Victor Lindelof looks a more likely target for the Red Devils than Van Dijk.
Might the Man Utd manager want to reconsider, though? Jaap Stam was a similar age when Sir Alex Ferguson brought the tough-tackling Dutch defender to Old Trafford back in 1998.
A player of similar size and stature, Stam helped the Red Devils to five major trophies during his three seasons in England. Van Dijk would have the perfect example to emulate if of interest to United, a club he is 9/2 to join.