Groningen game a special one for van Dijk

By SFC Media time Fri 29 Jul Club

Virgil van Dijk says tomorrow’s return to FC Groningen will be a special day for him.

Southampton finish off their pre-season tour to Holland with a trip to the club where van Dijk’s professional career began (2.30pm BST).

The centre-half played three years for the Dutch side, before moving to Celtic, from where he joined Saints in 2015.

Tomorrow’s visit will represent the first time that van Dijk has been back to Groningen, and it is a prospect he is relishing.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “It's going to be the first time for me to come back there after I left.

“I've got a lot of great memories over there and I'm very grateful for everything they did for me.

“I made my professional debut over there, so I'm looking forward to the game and looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well and hopefully we get a good game and a win and get ready to get back home and ready for the Premier League.”

Saints defender van Dijk added: "They gave me the opportunity to show my qualities. I played there three years, three amazing years. It was a great time and I'm very grateful and very thankful to them for everything they've done for me and I think they were a big part of the player I am today, so I'm happy to come back.

"I think they are the strongest of the three we have played this week, so we need to be ready. We want to get our fitness levels up and we want to win, obviously – that's the most important thing in football.

“We want to play good football and get our tactics where we want for what we want to achieve and what the coach wants. We're going to be ready and make sure we have a good afternoon.”



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