Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is perhaps the hottest property in the Premier League this month, but how would the Saints get on without their towering defender? We asked Football Manager to find out for us…
The former Celtic man has been linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United, and whilst all at St. Mary’s remain adamant that the Dutchman is going nowhere, it’s best to know what’s coming, eh Saints fans?
The Netherlands international follows in the footsteps of Morgan Schneiderlin and Luke Shaw in swapping St. Mary’s for Old Trafford, with Jose Mourinho forking out £4om to bring the 25-year-old to Manchester United.
With money to spend Saints boss Claude Puel heads into the market and comes out with West Ham’s Winston Reid for a fee of £21.5m.
Reid has an inconsistent time in the Southampton defence during the second half of the season, he puts in strong performances against Sunderland, Watford and Bournemouth and picks up the Man of the Match award against Watford in a 0-0 draw.
However, he struggles against Arsenal, Chelsea and his former club West Ham where a poorly weighted backpass allows Dimitri Payet in to score.
Reid’s best run of form comes in the last three matches of the season when he averages a match rating of 7.25.
Overall, the New Zealander pulls on the Southampton shirt 16 times between now and the end of the season, provides two assists for his team and earns an average match rating of 7.17 by the end of the season.
Claude Puel’s side finish in 11th place in the Premier League on 46 points, they are easily beaten by Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-finals, going down 5-2 on aggregate.
The Saints also reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but are handed a tough draw away at Chelsea and fall to a 2-1 defeat.
So, Saints fans, not the best season really. Maybe it’s better that the board stand firm and hold onto your man until the end of the season!