By 90Min
September 26, 2017

Southampton defender Maya Yoshida believes the reintegration of Virgil van Dijk is a good thing, but will make it harder for him to nail down a starting spot.

The Dutchman is being eased back into action at St. Mary's following a summer of speculation linking him with a move away from the club, specifically to Liverpool.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

The former Celtic man has not started a game for eight months following an injury he picked up against Leicester in January - he was given 10 minutes against Crystal Palace and was an unused substitute against Manchester United.

The quality of Van Dijk is undeniable - it could be that he is knocking on the door to start before long - and with the club also signing Wesley Hoedt in the summer, Yoshida knows he has a battle on his hands to retain his place in the starting XI.

Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

He said, as quoted by Sky Sports: "It's really tough, I understand. Virgil is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. 

"I have to keep strong in my performance to the manager, the fans, get a result for the team. It's only the things I can do. I just focus on myself and playing well.

"[With] my experience in the last couple of years, I am pretty sure that kind of pressure makes me stronger. Even Jack Stephens was not involved in the squad. That's the kind of really high competition we have in Southampton."

You May Like