English Premier League outfit Southampton have been one of the most consistent sides in the Premier League in the last two seasons as they have managed to finish in the top half of the table. They are aiming higher this season, having replaced Claude Puel with Mauricio Pellegrino recently but they are not in a great position to keep their star players at the club, just like every other summer.
This time they are in line to lose one of their most important players in Van Dijk.
A popular name among the English supporters, Van Dijk is fast turning into one of the best defenders in the league and at just 26, is an established option that will walk into every top team in England. Chelsea and Manchester City are interested in his signature but Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the front runners and are expected to land him before the deadline day, in a month’s time.
Southampton are still adamant that Van Dijk is not for sale but they have now started to look for replacements and Tottenham Hotspur star Kevin Wimmer is reportedly their first choice.
According to a report from the Sun, Southampton are ready to meet Spurs’ valuation of around £20m for the versatile defender and are confident that he can replace Van Dijk if he quits this summer. A product of the Fußballakademie Linz Academy in Austria, the 24-year old is primarily a centre back but is also decent in a fullback role.
He joined the London outfit back in 2015 as a backup for their first choice stars and has rarely been a liability at the back for the Spurs in the last two seasons. Known for his concentration and willingness to throw himself in front of the ball, the Austrian international has just 15 appearances in the Premier League so far and is not expected to be the first choice next season for the Spurs.
He will only get better with more playing time and will surely be ready to quit and though he may not really be the name Southampton will want to replace Van Dijk with, he is more than a decent option to the have in the squad next season.
Van Dijk is expected to fetch up to £65m, which will surely help the Saints find an able replacement but in Wimmer, they will find a cheap option, that can take up the duties for years to come. But is he the right man for Southampton?