Has Van Dijk's Mind Been "Poisoned So Deeply" There Is No Way Back ?
Tuesday, 5th Sep 2017 10:35
The transfer window is shut, but the mouths of various pundits remain very wide open and Stan Collymore is the latest to offer his opinion and say that there is no way back at St Mary's for the player.
Saints fans wait with baited breath to see if Virgil Van Dijk bites the bullet and returns to training and then the first team, to keep them amused there is still an endless stream of pundits, many of them former Liverpool Legends like Stan Collymore.
Collymore is the latest to make claims and he is suggesting that the next step for Virgil Van Dijk will be to have a meeting with Saints to agree when he is going to move with January being the players preferred option.
But Collymore goes further and suggests that the rift between Van Dijk and the club is now so wide that perhaps playing for the team will be a step too far.
“Of the three [Van Dijk, Sanchez, Coutinho], I’d expect Van Dijk to have the toughest reception,” Collymore wrote in his Daily Mirror column.
“He looked as if he’d gone a bit ‘Big Time Charlie’ when he started posting moody pictures on private jets and I wouldn’t expect old-school pros like Steven Davis to accept that."
“The poison has perhaps been injected so deep into Van Dijk’s relationship with the Saints that, unlike Coutinho, I can’t see a way back in the long term.
“So don’t be surprised to hear of a meeting in the next few weeks designed to get him out of St Mary’s in January.
“Sometimes in football, that’s the only way to sort it once and for all.”
Perhaps the key phrase id "Poison injected so deep" this is interesting as it suggests that someone close to Van Dijk has been turning the player against the club, that it is more than just a player wanting away, but someone who seems more determined to do damage to Southampton Football Club than what is best for Virgil Van Dijk.
Certainly this saga has felt strange from the start, the way that a media campaign has been conducted with so many pundits like Collymore briefed to such a degree that they belived that a move for Van Dijk was not only certain but very close and that this has been the case since May before the transfer window even opened.
Even on deadline day there were those quite influential willing to claim that they thought the deal would be done !
Now when the likes of Jamie Carragher etc claim a deal is about to be done they are staking their reputations on the line, Carragher is trying to forge a career as a respected pundit, one who talks sense, working for Sky he is close to many in the game and is not like the likes of Collymore or Mick Quinn who make their living from "headlines" not particularly fact.
Most Saints fans have blamed Liverpool FC and it cannot be denied that they have played a big part, but is it them with this continuous briefing of the media ?
Collymore's claim that poison has been injected into Van Dijk doesn't point to Liverpool Football Club it points towards the players agent.
Certainly Rob Jansen of the Wasserman Group has reason to dislike Saints, this was the man who persuaded Ronald Koeman to leave St Mary's when previously he was happy to stay, so much so that Koeman dumped his former agent and appointed Jansen so Saints were faced with the fact that the man Everton had to help them appoint their manager was now the man representing Koeman, there was only going to be one outcome.
That left a sour taste in the mouth for Saints and there was no love lost between the club and Rob Jansen.
This had lead to some suggestions in some quarters that when Jansen and his Wasserman group signed Virgil Van Dijk last December they had one thing and one thing only on their minds, moving their new client from Saints and in doing so gain some sort of revenge for the Koeman issue where Saints forced Everton into a big pay out, money which of course could have gone elsewhere namely the new Everton manager and his agents.
This has seemingly lead to a summer where Virgil Van Dijk has been turned from what many close to Saints described as a level headed young man, to someone who was prepared to take perhaps the biggest stand in football since Jean Marc Bosman took on the footballing authorities in the mid 90's.
The dispute between Virgil Van Dijk and Southampton FC esculated this summer and the truth is that perhaps it did so because of third party influences on the player.
According to some media reports in the days before the transfer window shut, Van Dijk had sacked Jansen perhaps in a bid to get Saints to cave in as it became clear that this was now an issue between the Wasserman Group and Saints with Van Dijk and Liverpool merely pawns in the game.
Saints themselves claimed that Van Dijk had not sacked the Wasserman Group shortly after the reports appeared and you would have thought that they would have known who they should be dealing with, it was clearly just another piece of media briefing all designed to unsettle the player and put spin on what had become the dirtiest transfer saga perhaps in the history of the game.
But is Van Dijk's mind so poisoned against Saints that there is truly no way back ? that is now the big question and to be honest in the long term it is hard to see any happy ending at least for Southampton FC and their fans.
The player has been turned again his club and urged to take actions that were not only putting him near to a breach of his contract but are now on the verge of sculating further.
If Van Dijk does back down and return to the first team squad at St Mary's then it will be with gritted teeth because he has no choice and he will see it as short term.
That is not to say that he will not put in the effort, Luis Suarez is perhaps the nearest case study we have and he had his best season for Liverpool after a similar issue with them.
Perhaps Van Dijk has seen the error of his ways, perhaps he has realised that he has been used in this situation, that he has been badly advised, perhaps he even feels guilty of the way he has behaved towards a club that has treated him very well and he seemed perfectly happy at when he signed a six year contract in the summer of 2016.
Things all seemed to change when he signed with the Wasserman Group a few months later and the relationship between club and player would soon start to change although it is unclear as to when Saints themselves actually realised this and what was going on behind their backs, although they would have been well aware of what might be going to happen when he signed for the agency.
This saga is not over yet and there is still some way to go, but whether it will end with football supporters and Saints fans in particular having some faith restored in the game is yet to be seen and some would say highly unlikely as greed takes another step forward.
Photo: Action Images
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