IT’S NOT often that you read that Saints have broken a world record.

I must admit when I heard the news I couldn’t understand until I read that Liverpool have apparently given £75m over for Virgil van Dijk.

That fee for any defender is enormous, but I suppose with the TV money etc we have to live with it.

As far as Mr van Dijk and his agent are concerned I personally, and without knowing any of them, think they have been very lucky, and so has the club.

I say this from a football point of view. Up until a year ago I was telling football people I met that we had one of the top three centre halves in the game.

He then, unfortunately, got a bad injury which kept him out for the rest of last season while at the beginning of this season a combination of trying to get fully fit again and all the fuss meant he wasn’t playing.

Of course, Liverpool had to apologise for making an alleged illegal approach in the summer months, which to be fair I thought the club handled very well by basically saying ‘we don’t want you to go, we want you to stay here, and by the way you and your agent should remember you just signed a six year contract’. Full marks to them.

Since then the player has come back from the injury, but from where I sit he doesn’t look the same on the pitch.

That is probably one of the reasons he has not been selected for every game this season, but it could well be the other thing is that watching him closely when he has been on the pitch I think his attitude is completely different to what it was before.

This obviously is because at least one other club wanted him and he had wanted to go.

It also brings back my thoughts on these transfer windows compared to the old days when a transfer could be done at any time up until about a month before the end of the season.

Now it has come out without even waiting for the beginning of January that a deal is done.

The player hasn’t even been in the squad for the last couple of games.

His attitude obviously off the field has been one of not wanting to be here, and when you think this was the player the squad looked up to, he was club captain, what does that mean the atmosphere around the training ground and dressing room has been like?

I have mentioned before, particularly the Leicester game, and from what I can gather up at Wembley, there seems to be a lack of leadership at present on the field, and the Van Dijk situation would certainly not have helped the present coach.

In some ways it could turn out to be a good thing as he leaves as soon as possible.

The players should remember that their job is to keep the club in the top flight, at least give 100 per cent, but also that the money coming in will enable the club to go out into the transfer market to strengthen the squad and they should be saying ‘you don’t need to replace me.’ Having said that I am talking about what would have happened at one time.

But does it mean that the example Van Dijk has given is the case nowadays. That is to forget the length of contract, if you get the chance to move on and make more money then you take it.

Bear in mind the majority are not from this country, they are visitors in so far as they may be good at what they do but they know they will move on.

They are not too concerned about the traditions or history of the club they are with, and in addition they all have an agent who makes more on moves than if a player stays for the length of time the likes of Messrs Le Tissier, Channon and co did at one time.