Daily Echo:

WILL he or won’t he? That’s the question that supporters are asking, not just me as I don’t know the answer, but the club in general.

It of course surrounds Mr Van Dijk, and will he stay or go, probably to Liverpool?

This time last year it wouldn’t have even entered anyone’s mind, simply because it was announced by the club, and applauded all round, that they had awarded the player a six-year contract.

Half way through last season he was injured and it enabled a young player, Jack Stephens, to break into the ranks, and he took on the role exceptionally well and saw us through until the end of the season.

Then of course during that period it came out loud and clear that Liverpool not only admired van Dijk but wanted to sign him.

It was so out of order the way it happened that Southampton complained and Liverpool had to put their hands up, apologise, and say they were no longer interested.

However, that was a month or two ago, and the ball is now in the player’s court, along with his agent of course, who not content with the six-year contract would appear to be encouraging his player to move on again because, guess what, he will get another payment.

Apart from the Southampton situation, I never cease to be amazed when every morning I click on teletext on the television – yes, I am getting very professional at this sort of thing nowadays – and work out which player at which club is connected with a move.

I know as ever a lot of it is guesswork, but Mr Koeman, has a particular fancy apparently for the Swansea midfield player Sigurdsson.

Fair enough, the club have made some sort of offer, which has been turned down, but even before that he made it clear he would like that player.

He has been joined in that respect by Antonio Conte at Chelsea saying that one player he would like to sign is Harry Kane from Tottenham.

Whilst supporters, as ours did, might laugh at these suggestions because they know players are on long contracts, there are other sides to it which, in my opinion are totally wrong.

Ok, we can’t stop people being tapped up as they say because agents have contacts and also players at another club would know the player and could be letting him know that the manager is interested.

Not for one minute am I saying players have got involved in the van Dijk situation, but nearly half their team used to be at St Mary’s.

The whole thing about team spirit and team effort is everybody pulling together.

I have said before at one time the squads were much smaller. It was a tight knit group of possibly 13, 14 or 15 first team players, with the rest being youngsters or reserves, hoping at some stage to break in.

This week, for instance, I notice that one squad was going abroad with 30 players in their squad.

The manager and his staff have a harder job usually, but it is not made easier with so many players to manage who possibly think they should be in the side.

Therefore you can do without another added problem with a player wanting to leave and a manager stating he wants to buy him, when his own club, as we have said he’s not for sale – and well done to Les Reed and company for strongly saying he is our player, we were happy to give him a long contract, he was happy to sign it at the time, and we do not need to sell.

The result is the manager has had to make a decision.

Don’t forget he has just arrived and is having to win over the whole dressing room, and has left the one that wants to get away back home running around on his own.

It is not a good start for anybody, particularly when the player involved was probably admired for his ability by all the other players, and playing in a position of centre half where you normally need a leader, and one who can represent the manager more on the field than the rest of the others.

To come out at this stage is totally out of order.

Who can say what will happen? The season is coming on us very soon. If he is going to stay here he needs to be playing as quickly as possible and the manager needs to know where he stands with team selection with only a couple of games left before the big ones start.

The dressing room needs to be positive and as happy as possible, or will it be that van Dijk remains determined to leave?

I for one would probably say if the choice is between him sitting at the back of the stand for the next five seasons or to say publically we have done everything we could, and the player and his agent are not changing, it’s a phone call to Liverpool and asking for £70m, or whatever price Les thinks, and tell them to take it or leave it.

Then the supporters will realise the club have done everything possible to keep him.

You could then ask Jack Stephens to carry on where he left off and the fans would be ready to boo a certain individual when the Liverpool fixture comes up.