Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that he has put the events of last summer behind him, and is focused on helping Saints to a strong season.

As quoted by the Daily Echo, the Dutchman discussed his current state of fitness and mentality, and was adamant that he is ready to give his all for the club while he is there.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on anything that happened before. I’m giving 100 per cent for the club, I work hard every day, I help my team-mates and I’m positive and I want to win every game. That’s the situation right now.

I think that’s pretty clear. I’ve been playing, you can judge for yourself. I feel good. I’m happy and that’s the most important thing. We’ll see what happens.

Van Dijk handed in a transfer request in the summer and was determined to leave. Liverpool were thought to have been his favoured destination, and after a long drawn out tapping up saga, the Reds were denied a move for the Netherlands international.

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I’m just getting back to pace and I feel like I’ve been growing every game,” he added. You know, coming back from an eight month injury is not easy but I’m feeling better every week.

Saints’ board made it clear that they were not going to welcome offers for their key players, and were true to their word, with Van Dijk staying put.

Van Dijk now joins up with the Netherlands squad in the hope of getting yet more minutes under his belt before returning for Saints’ crunch clash against Liverpool.

Every game is important and it’s going to be even more important now to get some points and we know we can play very well against everyone. But, we just need to keep going, stay positive and work hard every week.

For now, we need to recharge with some of the players going back to their countries and work hard there as well and come back fit and be ready for Liverpool.