Virgil van Dijk believes Jordy Clasie has the necessary quality to be even better for Southampton than former star Morgan Schneiderlin.
France international Schneiderlin established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League during his time at St Mary’s, despite being part of the team that was relegated to League One, before earning a £25million move to Manchester United in the summer.
Clasie was signed from Feyenoord as his replacement but an injury prevented the 24-year-old from making his league debut until October 17.
And compatriot Van Dijk, who played alongside the midfielder in Holland’s 3-2 defeat of Wales on Friday, says Clasie will start to show why Ronald Koeman was so keen to bring him to Saints.
“I think Jordy played very good against Wales and he played very good against Sunderland previously too,” said Van Dijk.
“It was a bit unfortunate he was injured the first couple of weeks but I think now he is getting to a level that everyone can see why the club bought him from Feyenoord, he is a very good player.
“I know him from way back and it is good to have him in the team. Maybe he can even be better than Morgan Schneiderlin.
“It is difficult to tell but I think he can be a very good player for the Saints. Alongside Victor Wanyama I think we have a great midfield.”
Van Dijk is also in his debut campaign at Southampton and has made an impressive start since joining from Celtic.
The 24-year-old only played 45 minutes against Wales and has been forced to withdraw from the Dutch squad to face Germany on Tuesday due to a knee strain.
However he expects to be fit for Saints’ clash with Stoke City on Saturday.
“I think it is fine but I didn’t want to force it in the second half because it is a friendly.
“I am very confident it will be OK. We checked everything at half-time and it is nothing really bad.”