Virgil van Dijk returned to action this evening after his extremely long layoff – but it could hardly have gone worse for the big Dutch centre-back.
The Southampton defender hasn’t played for the club’s first-team since a Premier League tie against Leicester City in January, after he sustained ligament damage to his foot.
Since then, of course, van Dijk has made it clear that he no longer wants to play for the Saints, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool said to be hovering during the summer transfer window.
Despite his wishes, van Dijk is still a Southampton player, and he’ll have to recover his fitness somehow, so he turned out for the club’s Under-23 side this evening.
With a supposedly world class defender playing against Championship side Aston Villa, you’d have thought Southampton would’ve cruised this contest, but it didn’t work out that way.
In fact, Villa ran out 4-0 winners and, according to the Telegraph, van Dijk was culpable for at least three of the four goals – and he struggled all night with two teenage strikers.
Now, it might simply be a bit of rust – but surely you’d expect a bit more, no?
Dodged a bullet, Liverpool fans?