With the transfer window winding towards conclusion, Premier League managers have been scouring the four corners of the globe for potential summer recruits.
Both Manchester United and Arsenal have been busy this summer already, with both still being linked with moves for central defenders.
The pair have both been linked with Southampton stalwart Jose Fonte, while the Gunners thought to be tracking Shkodran Mustafi. The Blues are predominantly being partnered with Kalidou Koulibaly and Giorgio Chiellini.
Surely I cannot be the only one who would like to see Virgil Van Dijk join Chelsea instead of Koulibaly
— The Chelsea Outpost (@ChelseaOutpost) August 19, 2016
However, after watching United beat Southampton 2-0 on Friday night, it became apparent that Fonte is not the Saints defender that should be in demand.
Virgil van Dijk put in another solid performance, despite his team being over-run by a rampant host, and continues to look very comfortable in Premier League football.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 10, 2016
The Dutch centre-half has immediately impressed upon his move from Celtic to the south coast, with his physical attributes there for all to see.
However, what has become more impressive about the way Van Dijk plays is his reading of the game, positional awareness and poise in possession.
Virgil van Dijk: Only Steve Cook (183) has made more Premier League clearances than @VirgilvDijk (162) in 2016
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 19, 2016
As rumours continue to swirl about the Blues and Gunners looking for a new central defender, it is surprising to see the Dutchman not mentioned as a potential target.
Although Southampton would be ardently against parting company with their prize asset, especially as he signed a new contract in May, it has been proven in recent transfer windows that the St Mary’s Stadium outfit can struggle to hold onto their gems.
Arsenal may well sign Mustafi to complete their search, but with Antonio Conte admitting he needs another option in his rearguard, making an offer for Van Dijk seems like a very shrewd option.