By 90Min
January 03, 2018

Virgil Van Dijk's long-awaited £75m move to Liverpool on January 1st was not one devoid of repercussions. His move to Merseyside ended a long, gruelling saga that has left a disruptive 'cloud' over Southampton for their first half of the season, that's according to Saints chairman Ralph Krueger. 

The transfer saga first began in the summer, which was marred by the Dutch centre-back's demand to leave for Liverpool. His demand culminated into him handing in his transfer request, in turn being forced to train alone at the start of the season after the move collapsed. 

The disruptive nature of this event spilt over into the season, prompting an underwhelming season from the Saints thus far. 

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Krueger told BBC Radio Solent (via BBC Sport): 'Emotionally, it threw us off balance and financially it was a huge business risk.

''To make a stand and principle like that creates an earthquake.''

Southampton have struggled so far this season, with new manager Mauricio Pellegrino only managing four wins in 21 Premier League games. Though, Krueger has given his backing to the Argentine manager that took over for Claude Puel in the summer.

Krueger added: ''We believe we can climb back up the table with the group we have.

''We're a club on a long-term plan.

''From the get-go, Mauricio has completely embraced the way we operate here. The transfer that has just gone through is the end of a very difficult phase for the club.

''We feel we have a superb group of players at the club and that we're well poised to attack the second half of the season.''

Kruger has come out to offer his unyielding support for Pellegrino, though the Argentine remains under fire as his Saints team - who currently sit on the precipice of the relegation zone in 17th position - were defeated 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, who leapfrogged them in the table. 

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