Odemwingie courts van Dijk controversy

Peter Odemwingie says Virgil van Dijk’s stand-off with Southampton has gone too far and that there is no way back for him at the club.

 

Dutch defender Van Dijk is one of the Premier League’s most in-demand players this season and has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool.

The 26-year-old is said to be keen on joining the Reds this season and has reportedly handed in a transfer request.

But Southampton are refusing to bow to the player’s wishes and have made the centre-back train on his own, away from the rest of the Saints’ first-team, in the build-up to the new Premier League season.

Odemwingie knows all too well what it’s like to be denied a desired move by your club. 

He famously drove to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day in January 2013 to try and push through a transfer from West Brom to QPR.

That switch never materialised, and he spent the rest of that season on the sidelines before eventually moving to Cardiff.

And, speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Talksport, about Van Dijk’s predicament at St Mary’s, the striker said: “I don’t think it’ll ever be the same for a player who is going through that situation.

“It’s a bad situation for both the player at the club because if he stays, he’s never going to be the same. He won’t play the same way and fans will be upset, sometimes just one word from a fan will remind you about what happened in the summer and it can put you off completely, for a whole week or even a whole month.

“I can understand Van Dijk’s point of view. This situation will be difficult for him, there are big clubs going after him. Southampton is a good club with great fans, but it’s absolutely understandable that he wants to make the best of his career. You get more respect if you play at the top clubs and if you challenge for European titles.

"These days, players are just left without answers. You sit there any think, is the club just playing a game to get more money? If we knew what was really happening it would be different, and you’d know how to conduct yourself properly, but sometimes you just don’t know what to think.

“You think, ‘is the club actually counting on me to be here next season because of my quality, or are they just playing a game to see how they can get a better deal out of it?’

“That’s the hardest part to deal with from a player’s point of view, if they actually knew exactly where they stood it would be easier to have a conversation with the club.

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