Pellegrino - Van Dijk Needs To Build Fitness
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has said that although Virgil van Dijk is back with us in training, he won't feature this weekend against Watford.
Speaking to Sky Sports as he met with the media for his pre game press conference - more of which to follow tomorrow no doubt - Pellegrino did admit that things were fine with van Dijk following the summer transfer window nonsense, but coming back from injury, his fitness wasn't yet right for him to play a part this weekend.
'Van Dijk is training with the team again. How long before we see him in a first-team match? It depends on the player. We know he is coming from a long period of time without playing a game. He needs to train and play games. I will decide in the future. As a player you have to show on the pitch how ready you are but for us and Virgil everything is now normal.'
Pellegrino went on to say that the conversations had with van Dijk would remain private, but he feels Southampton's viewpoint this transfer window belies our ambition.
'The message is that we don't need to sell players at this moment. We need to keep our best players to be more competitive. That is the message from the owner, the board, our chairman and it's really good.'
In terms of the upcoming games, whilst there will no doubt be more coverage to come, the Argentine gaffer did admit that we had a clean bill of health otherwise going into the game as Matt Targett has shaken off a knock.
He also backed the Premier League's decision to close the transfer window early from next season.
'It's a good decision not just for me but for everyone, even the agents. We now focus on the competition. After three games, talking about movement and players leaving makes people anxious. For me it's good news for everybody.'