Van Dijk Absent From Saints U23 Victory
Tuesday, 26th Sep 2017 09:25
Virgil Van Dijk had been expectd to continue his comeback with another appearance for Saints U23 side but his name was not on the team sheet for the trip to play West Bromwich Albion.
After getting in 90 minutes in the U23's a week ago but not featuring this Saturday for the first team due to tactial reasons, most Saints supporters would have expected the Dutch defender to play some part in the game at West Browmwich Albion in the U23 league, but he was no where to be seen.
There could be several explanations, the first that Pellegrino is intenting to start him at Stoke City on Saturday, that being the case after such a long lay off two games in the space of five days might not be a good idea, his fitness levels will be raised but you don't want to overstretch him.
The second is that with such a youthful side being put out there would be no point in sending him up there, in terms of match sharpness it would not help him too much.
The fact that so few experienced players on the fringe of the first team squad travellled might also give a clue, you might have expected the likes of Jermey Pied, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg or Jan Bednarek to have been given a run out as they did not play at the weekend but they were absent as well, this perhaps suggests that Saints may be having a full game behind closed doors this week, probably in house to further hone Van Dijk's sharpness but without the risk of an opponent injuring him with a rash tackle.
Mauricio Pellegrino has to make a tough decision in the coming weeks, Maya Yoshida has given 100% and not let the team down, but he is nowhere near as good as Van Dijk, if we are to win games then the manager will want to play his best team, but that will be harsh on the lieks of Yoshida.
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