Southampton: What do we think about the Van Dijk deal 24 hours on?

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: The Southampton team warm up prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: The Southampton team warm up prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) /
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24 hours has passed since Virgil van Dijk was pictured in front of a Christmas tree holding a Liverpool shirt. Now the dust has settled, how do us Southampton supporters feel?

His complete exclusion from the recent matchday squads made his departure seen like an inevitability, but yesterday Virgil van Dijk’s move to Liverpool was finally confirmed.

The board stood firm over the summer on their promise that no player needed to be sold – but it was clear that Van Dijk’s heart was never truly in it.

The Saints got a hefty £75 million in exchange for the Dutchman, and if reports are to be believed, then as much as £70 million of that has come in one lump some upfront. This deal makes the 26-year-old the world’s most expensive defender.

But have Southampton made the right decision selling their prized asset?

Related Story: Saints 1-1 Huddersfield: Player ratings

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 29: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton at Amex Stadium on October 29, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 29: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton at Amex Stadium on October 29, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images) /

Whatever is said about his attitude, Van Dijk is, or was, far and away the highest-quality player among the Saints’ ranks, and selling him goes against what the club said they’d do over the summer.

Other Southampton players – most prominently Ryan Bertrand – have looked disinterested this season and this could be the opening of the floodgates for more departures.

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What’s more, selling to Liverpool once again will have only alienated a lot of the fanbase even more than they are already. Two successive unconvincing managerial appointments and a couple of stuttering transfer windows have left a lot of supporters disillusioned with Les Reed and the others.

What remains important for the board and the owners is that the VVD money is reinvested. It might seem steep but any less than £50 million will surely go down badly with some fans.

And this leads nicely onto the positives – the potential for new signings. This January needs to be like a summer window for the Saints, with no less than three or four new players needed after a difficult start to the campaign.

Relegation is a genuine concern with just two points separating the Saints and the drop zone meaning investment is imperative.

Maya Yoshida’s comments following the Tottenham loss show that morale is perhaps a little low among the Saints players at the moment – that may have nothing to do with VVD but his departure could certainly change that.

Van Dijk wanting out would’ve without a doubt had some kind of toxic effect on the Southampton squad and the players could potentially be more unified without one of them vocally wanting out.

All we know for definite is there will be some relief among Saints fans, with the ‘will he, won’t he’ transfer saga finally over.