Sourced from Daily Star article
The Dutch centre-back handed in a transfer request during the summer amid strong interest from Liverpool and other top Premier League clubs. Van Dijk has not featured for Saints this season due to the uncertainty over his future and has not played competitively since suffering a foot injury against Leicester in January. He was selected for Southampton Under-23’s 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Monday night and could now face Crystal Palace on Saturday as he attempts to get his career back on track. Saints chief Pellegrino said: "Virgil was training well. He played 90 minutes the other day, the reserve game.
“Hopefully he will be getting better every single week” "But tomorrow [Friday] we will decide [whether he features against Palace]. "Hopefully he will be getting better every single week but I am happy with that - not just about Virgil because everybody I think is ready to be part of the team." Van Dijk will be staying at St Mary’s until at least January following the closure of the summer transfer window. He captained Southampton last season but Pellegrino was coy on whether the former Celtic man would take the armband again this term.
He added: “For me the captain is something that the team-mates decide and something that you have to deserve. "Now, when he's not playing, you cannot put the captain on someone that is not playing, but obviously Virgil was one of the leaders of the squad." Liverpool tried to sign Van Dijk for around £60m over the summer but failed to land their top defensive target. The Reds were forced to issue an apology to Southampton over their aggressive transfer tactics but are expected to make another move for him this winter.
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