In this season of watercooler tactics discussions at ugly sweater parties and heated arguments around the dinner table with relatives supporting opposing teams, we at the TLO Towers thought we would give the gift of yet another Virgil Van Dijk news item.
The January month of transfer silliness swiftly approaches and the talking heads have begun dusting off the hottest topics of yester-summer, none of which generated as clickable headlines as the star-crossed triangle between Liverpool, Southampton and the £70m-rated Dutchman. And yes, to answer your question, there will be Van Dijk updates with increasing frequency between now and January 31st until they runneth over into every other news item on the site.
Although, the much-coveted center back had been Liverpool’s for the taking this past summer, this time the Reds might have competition for Van Dijk’s signature, with 2018 Premier League champions Manchester City, who for all their splendor, could certainly improve on John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala in the heart of defense.
In fact, any of the top six clubs would benefit from having the Saints colossus manning the backline. All of them, of course, except for Chelsea, because according to Blues legend and all-around upstanding person, John Terry, they’re perfect just the way they are.
“If you look at Liverpool he certainly goes into their starting line-up and improves them,” Terry said of Van Dijk during a recent appearance on Sky Sports. “Arsenal he does the same, Chelsea he makes their squad better, I’m not sure he starts.
“Man City, I think he improves their starting XI, Man United certainly. I think the money we are speaking about is where we are at in today’s market.
“But I think he goes into all of them squads and makes them better. So I’m pretty sure they’re all going to be in for him in January.”
The former England captain went on to defend the infamous Chelsea recruitment and loan system that saw the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool world-beater Mohamed Salah slip through the cracks after spells at Stamford Bridge.
“At the time [the likes of Salah, De Bruyne and Lukaku] didn’t make our team stronger," Terry continued when asked if Chelsea regretted selling the future stars.
“Let’s not forget we were one of the best teams probably the Premier League has ever seen, in them early days when they arrived,” in reference to Chelsea sides that came 6th, 3rd and 3rd in the league during a few of the years those three players were on the books.
“When they come in can they make a big enough impact to sustain and keep their place? No, it’s very difficult to do.”