Defender tipped as future Holland captain wants Premier League move; with Everton favourites

Brighton and Cardiff City both bid for talented defender Virgil Van Dijk in January but his stock has risen since then. Are Everton now the front-runners?

FC Groningen defender Virgil Van Dijk has been one of the breakthrough players in the Eredivisie this season with the 21-year-old even captaining the side on occasions in a busy season that has seen him play 90 minutes in all but one of his 30 appearances for the North Holland side.

Under the management of former Motherwell midfielder Robert Maaskant he has become a regular in the side and has been their stand-out performer by some stretch this campaign.

A powerful centre-back who can also cover the full-back positions he has been linked with several moves in the past 12 months with Dutch giants Ajax and PSV Eindhoven said to be keen on bringing him to their respective clubs.

However the interest has not just been restricted to a domestic level with teams from England also very keen on a potential deal. Championship sides tried to steal the march with Cardiff City bidding and Brighton and Hove Albion coming very close to completing a deal in the January transfer window.

However it was the Everton interest that remained the biggest in terms of league position for the Dutch under-21 international.

"I know certain clubs are following me and that Everton are one of them. I have heard and read a lot about it and after the winter training camp I will sit down with my agent Henk-Maarten Chin and catch up with where we stand.Of course I am flattered by the interest, but I have to make sure I make the best choice for my future career."

That was in January and now the player, who has been tipped in some quarters as a future Netherlands captain, has made his decision public; he wants a move to England.

His agent Martin Henk Chin spoke about the future of his client this week insisting that he was ready for the step up in class:

"The Premier League would be great, but England seems to be the best option. There are many clubs in the Championship who follow him, but also in the Premier League. He is ready for the next step."

So is he good enough. According to reports you read in Holland he is. At 6ft 4ins he certainly has the build for such a move. The reports there suggest if he played for a bigger side he would already be in the Dutch squad and with a potential price-tag of as little as £2 million he could prove to be the bargain buy of this summer.

Do you think Virgil Van Dijk has what it takes to make it in the Premier League?

image: © Patrick de Laive

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