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Pellegrino warns Liverpool target Van Dijk that no player is bigger than the club

Date Posted,August 10, 2017

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has warned rogue captain Virgil van Dijk : No player is bigger than the team.

Liverpool target Van Dijk this week handed in a transfer request and will miss Saints’ opening day clash at home to Swansea today due to a ‘virus’.

Pellegrino said yesterday: “The problem here is that Virgil is one of the most important players. But there isn’t one player more important than the 11 players playing together.

“Virgil is an important player but the club was clear from the beginning with the player. We cannot control every situation and Virgil is part of our club because he has a contract.

Pellegrino has sent a warning to his skipper (Image: 2017 Getty Images)

“The player is clear with his position but we have to keep going because I can’t control the thinking of the player at this moment.”

Dutchman Van Dijk has been training in isolation since telling Pellegrino he wants to leave last month.

Pellegrino added: “He won’t be available this weekend as he had some trouble with a virus and hasn’t trained the last two days.

“We are expecting him to come back and hopefully he can change his point of view.”

The van Dijk saga has dominated the early weeks of Pellegrino’s reign since being named as successor to the sacked Claude Puel.

But the Argentine insists his only focus is on downing the Swans.

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Pellegrino said: “Swansea are a good team because they have a balance between defence and attack as they play with a diamond in the middle and the full backs up high.

“They also want to press higher up the pitch and it will be really tough for us. You will see more or less the same dynamic from us that you have in the last few games but we are ready.”

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