Saints defender fails to impress in return

Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk resumed action for the English side on Monday in a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa.

The 26-year-old featured for the entire 90 minutes of the match but failed to exert his dominance in defense, allowing their opponents to run amok with two goals in each half of low-key contest.

Van Dijk was recently allowed to rejoin Southampton’s senior side after Mauricio Pellegrino compelled the defensive specialist to train alone after revealing that he favoured a move away from the St Mary’s Stadium.

The fixture was the Dutchman’s first match since sustaining an ankle injury in January, and a failed attempt to force an exit to league rivals Liverpool or Chelsea.