Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Southampton confident of keeping Virgil van Dijk

Southampton confident of keeping Virgil van Dijk

Whilst the result will have pretty much zero impact on the final standings, the draw sees the Saints occupy eighth, with the game at St. Mary's being the only goalless match-up since the Premier League returned.

Swansea boss Paul Clement was left to hail a hard-fought point, but also admit his side must improve fast to secure a Premier League foothold.

However Southampton's shambolic finishing will be the headline grabber, with Maya Yoshida, Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin and Dusan Tadic all having multiple opportunities to break the deadlock.

"I'm ready to go now and hopefully this year we won't have those [relegation] worries we've had in the last couple of seasons".

Teenage Chelsea loan striker Tammy Abraham battled hard in his competitive Swansea debut, drawing praise from his boss.

Yet, with just over two weeks of the transfer window remaining, van Dijk will begin to stress over whether or not he'll get his move and Southampton believes the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation will influence the defender's decision.

"The only situation that's important at the moment is the Gylfi Sigurdsson transfer situation".

At least Clement could take heart from Abraham's first Premier League start, with the 19-year-old leading the line willingly despite the lack of support he needed to seriously trouble Southampton.

It ends goalless, as Mauricio Pellegrino's side have to settle for a point on the opening day.

"I think all of us at the club, the technical director, me as a manager, we know that Virgil is an important part of the club". The last-gasp defending was good but we didn't use the ball well enough further up the pitch.

"As a manager, you can work on the way to create chances, on the way to control the game, but to have the courage to score goals is something that is hard".

"We are pleased we have got out of here with a draw".

"It's what you want to be involved in and, as long as I keep myself fit and in good health, I feel I can contribute to this team. I'm sure they will be disappointed and think "how have we not won".

"We played the way we felt we had to play: we controlled the game, we controlled the opponent, especially in the second half".

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