Defender proves his class to Koeman

Ronald Koeman has revealed Virgil van Dijk’s form for Southampton has dispelled any reservations he had when signing the defender.

Southampton: Defender proves his class to KoemanSouthampton: Defender proves his class to Koeman

The Netherlands international made the move from Celtic to St Mary’s last summer and has quickly established himself as a vital part of Koeman’s team, slotting in seamlessly next to Jose Fonte at the heart of the Saints’ defence.

The 24-year-old has racked up 30 appearances in all competitions so far this season and Koeman could not be happier with his compatriot.

Van Dijk’s form has gone a long way to reassuring the Southampton boss he was right to splash the cash to sign the defender, claiming he was initially worried he would not be able to make the step up to the Premier League.

“He is strong, he’s fast and he’s important in the way we like to build-up [from the back],” Koeman told Sky Sports.

“He is good at short passing, he has a good long pass and he has got a good partnership with Jose Fonte and last Saturday he was good in tandem with Ryan Bertrand.

“He is also a good header of the ball, has a good shot and is a good free-kick taker. He’s a very good centre-back.

“My only worry with Virgil was that we signed him from Celtic in the Scottish league. It’s different from the Premier League.

“It makes it a little more tricky but he had experience of playing against Barcelona in the Champions League, so in the end there was no doubt about it.”

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