Fantasy Premier League

Van Dijk flourishing under Puel

The Scout 13 Oct 2016
Scout: van Dijk 131016

Southampton defender offers prospect of points at both ends in Gameweek 8, says The Scout

Virgil van Dijk (£5.4m) arrived at Southampton last summer with a reputation as a goalscoring defender.

During his final full season with Celtic, the Dutchman was on target 10 times in all competitions before leaving for St Mary's Stadium.

Van Dijk settled in seamlessly at the heart of the Saints' rearguard last season.

Scoring three times in 34 appearances, he also served up 10 clean sheets to earn 133 Fantasy Premier League points.

The 25-year-old finished fifth for touches inside the penalty box (71) for defenders and produced 28 attempts on goal, the same number as Crystal Palace's Scott Dann (£5.4m), for example.

With Claude Puel now at the helm at St Mary's, Van Dijk has maintained his close-range threat.

Although he has not yet scored, his penalty-box touches (up from 2.1 a match in 2015/16 to 2.6) have improved, with his efforts inside the opposition area (0.6 a match) remaining the same.

Van Dijk improvements

Touches in box/902.12.6
Attempts in box/900.60.6
Clearances, blocks & interceptions11.212.2

To further highlight his attacking potential, Van Dijk is ranked second for defenders when it comes to successful headers (26). Only Chelsea's Gary Cahill has registered more.

Southampton have also turned in some impressive performances at the other end of the pitch.

Scout: Cahill 131016
Only Chelsea's Gary Cahill has registered more successful headers than Virgil van Dijk at the back

They have produced three successive clean sheets in the Premier League, with a total of six straight shutouts in all competitions.

It is fair to say Van Dijk has been instrumental to his side's resilience and he will be confident on collecting another clean sheet on Sunday against a Burnley side who, with five goals this season, are the joint-lowest scorers in the competition.

Remember the Gameweek 8 deadline is at 11.30am BST Saturday 15 October

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