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Virgil van Dijk Returns to Training with Southampton

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Reintegration has begun for one wantaway star. Next up for Liverpool fans, Philippe Coutinho.

Burnley v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool are currently awaiting the return of Philippe Coutinho, at least theoretically fit once again following a well timed break for Merseyside with the Brazilian national team, but elsewhere one of the summer’s wantaway players is taking his first steps towards reintegration.

Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s top and only centre half target last summer, took part in his first training session with the Southampton first team today following more than a month spent out of the action after he handed in a transfer request as he attempted to secure his transfer.

As with Coutinho, his efforts to agitate for a move failed. As with Coutinho, there is talk of reviving a deal in January or next summer. As with Coutinho, there were questions about whether the club and player would be willing to reconcile, at least for the next few months.

Unlike with Coutinho, the club chasing Van Dijk moved for him early, the player handed in his transfer request after he was sent to train away from the first team by the manager and weeks before the season kicked off, and the club chasing him were willing to pay market value.

Or at least they, Liverpool, were if Southampton signalled they were willing to sell. With Southampton not doing so, Liverpool kept quiet about their interest and deadline day ended last week without the club having even put in a bid for the star 26-year-old centre half.

The actions of the chasing club in each case were wildly different, but the resolve of the selling club—or the potential selling club—and efforts of the player were similar. Now Liverpool fans will be waiting to see what happens with their own wantaway star in the coming days.