Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton fans should not boo Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk

Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton fans should not boo Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk

The Dutch centre-back joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75m in January and is set to face his former club at St Mary's in their Premier League fixture on Sunday.

Klopp and Van Dijk will hope that this spell can end on Sunday as they look to clinch an important three points away at Southampton, in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere.

Southampton reported an illegal approach with Van Dijk having spoken to Liverpool before a bid had been accepted by his club, forcing an embarrassing public apology in which Liverpool insisted they had "ended any interest in the player". "But with us I feel we are in a good situation to play against them". "There are still, I don't know, hopefully 18, 19, 20 games to go for us and that's enough for him".

Klopp said: 'We are all human beings, we are influenced by circumstances. It won't be a normal game for him. It was a special story for him - really positive, then at the end, not really positive.

"There is nothing good to say about the reaction but as a former footballer when I saw the other challenge then to be honest I understand a little bit".

The Netherlands worldwide did earn Southampton £75m when his protracted move to the Reds went through, but Pellegrino wants the home faithful to get behind his player rather than on the back of their former hero. It is nice you think he can handle it.

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"It is not that I ask, 'Do you want to play?' You say a few words".

'I sleep twice before we play Southampton so maybe I'll change my mind so we will see'.

Liverpool have signed a number of players from Southampton in recent years and Klopp is surprised by the number of top-flight players to have graduated from the Saints.

Manuel Pellegrini's team have also conceded 38 goals this season and have a Liverpool team who have scored two goals or more in eight of their last nine Premier League games. Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] is from there as well, even though he took a different route. He did well in our club and he left some profit to the club and we have to grateful.

"It shows the good work they do down there".

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