Southampton's Steven Davis believes that want-away centre half Virgil van Dijk is 'determined' to fight for his place in the Saints' squad and says that keeping hold of the Dutchman's services is a 'huge boost' for the club.
After failing to force through a move to Liverpool during the summer, Van Dijk has been outcast from the starting XI, however after supposedly knuckling down in training, the 26-year-old could be in line for his first competitive start of the season when the south coast outfit tangle with Manchester United on Saturday.
Davis said - via a report published by Mirror: “He is one of the best centre halves in the Premier League and it is a huge boost for us we have managed to keep hold of him. It has been a smooth transition and it’s great now he is back among the boys, training regularly and determined to fight for a place.”
In the defender's absence, Davis has been skippering the club and Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has supposedly said that the players will decide who ultimately gets to wear the armband.
The Northern Irish midfielder continued to add: “I have not had a conversation with Virgil about the captaincy. I am just doing my job.
“It has not crossed my mind. That is a decision for the manager to make.”
Davis claims that Southampton have the 'quality' to beat any team on their day, but with their tie with the Red Devils edging closer, he says the encounter will be 'hugely difficult', and that the whole squad will have to be on their guard.
Without singling out the free-scoring Romelu Lukaku, the 32-year-old proclaimed: “They have got such an attacking threat in the final third. There’s not one player you can simply focus on. They have got threats throughout their squad.
“It is going to be a hugely difficult game for us but we believe we have the quality to beat any team in the league.
“We need to show it now. Obviously they are playing with a lot of confidence and they are playing as if they all know their roles within the side.
“It is going to be a hugely tough game. We are not underestimating them but we have also believe we can cause them problems.”