Arsenal line up surprise big-money move for dominant defender

By Mark Peters IN General,Premier League,Transfers - 19:45 Aug 26th 2017

Money seems to be no object in the current transfer window, with ridiculous sums being paid for players of varying degrees of quality right the way across Europe.

Arsenal themselves have lavished £46.5m on Alexandre Lacazette, but it is clear from their inability to keep clean sheets in the early weeks of the season that an imposing new central defender is also needed.

Step forward Virgil van Dijk if reports in The Sun are to be believed, with the Gunners said to have held talks with the player’s representatives over a potential £50m move to North London.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK

Having spent the previous two seasons playing his football for Southampton, the talented Netherlands international will need no introduction to Premier League audiences.

It is a sign of his importance to the South Coast outfit that all 55 of his top-flight appearances for the club have come as a starter, with these matches yielding an impressive return of 19 clean sheets:

Virgil van Dijk
POS: DEFAGE: 26Y 1M
HEIGHT: 6FT 4INWEIGHT: 14ST 6LB
PL | Southampton | 15/1616/17 | Southampton | PL
GOALS
CLEAN
SHEETS
GAMES
GAMES
CLEAN
SHEETS
GOALS
AUG
3
1
1
3
SEP
3
2
1
1
3
OCT
4
1
2
4
NOV
3
2
1
5
DEC
6
2
1
3
4
JAN
2
1
3
4
FEB
1
4
MAR
4
APR
3
MAY
3
11
34
TOTAL
21
8
1

That equates to a shutout roughly once every three games and it is important to remember that the 26-year-old hasn’t achieved these numbers at one of the traditional powerhouses of English football.

Even more tellingly, perhaps, the Saints suffered defensively during his injury-enforced absence in the second half of last season, conceding an extra 0.4 goals per game in the Premier League when the former Celtic star was missing:

Virgil van Dijk
POS: DEFAGE: 26Y 1M
HEIGHT: 6FT 4INWEIGHT: 14ST 6LB
 
PL | SOU | 16/1716/17 16/17 | SOU | PL
WITHWITHOUT
21
MATCHES
17
33%
WIN%
29%
29%
DRAW%
24%
38%
LOSS%
47%
22
GOALS FOR
19
23
GOALS AGAINST
25
1
GOALS F
PER GAME
1.1
1.1
GOALS A
PER GAME
1.5
85.9
MINS PER
GOALS F
80.5
82.2
MINS PER
GOALS A
61.2
10.4
SHOTS F
PER GAME
10.1
1.3
POINTS
PER GAME
1.1
8
CLEAN SHEETS
6
10
TOTAL
3

In addition to his defensive dominance, van Dijk is incredibly comfortable bringing the ball out from the back, thus making him an ideal fit for the central role in Arsene Wenger’s current formation of choice.

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