Virgil Van Dijk has become the most expensive defender in Southampton’s history.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
The Dutch center back, 24, signed on at St Mary’s from Scottish champions Celtic on Tuesday, with a fee of $17.6 million agreed between the two clubs.
A source close to the deal told ProSoccerTalk that the deal was expected to be wrapped up ahead of the 1 p.m. ET deadline and that was the case as Van Dijk signed a five-year deal with Southampton.
Van Dijk is said to have completed his medical in London on Monday, then traveled down to the South Coast on Tuesday to tie up all of the loose ends of his deal.
[ PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]
The defender is someone Koeman has been tracking for quite some time and his flamboyant style and insistence to break out of the back and score goals — Van Dijk has scored 22 goals in 180 career games in Holland and Scotland — is reminiscent of his countryman and potential new manager. The likes of Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with a move for him in the past but he has signed for Saints.
Both Koeman and Van Dijk played for Groningen in Holland, and the former will significantly strengthen a Southampton defense which lost Nathaniel Clyne to Liverpool this summer, while center back Toby Alderwerield decided to join Tottenham Hotspur instead of sign permanently for Saints after spending last season on loan at St Mary’s. Add into that a long-term injury to Romanian international Florin Gardos and a shaky start to the season which saw Saints concede five times in their opening two PL games and it was clear that Koeman wanted to bring in a new center back.
With captain Jose Fonte, Maya Yoshida, Steven Caulker and now the imminent arrival of Van Dijk, Southampton have four center backs who will all push each other for a starting role this season. Van Dijk and Fonte will likely be the two starters if Koeman persists with the 4-2-3-1 formation following their win over Norwich City on Sunday, but he has played with a three-man defense on plenty of occasions since taking over at Saints last summer.
Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.
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And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.
Ecuador 1-1 Japan
There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.
Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.
Chile 0-1 Uruguay
Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.
Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.
Knockout round schedule
Brazil v. Paraguay
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile
Uruguay v. Peru
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru
Third place playoff
Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.
Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.
[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]
Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.
Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.
Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:
“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.
“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”
Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.
Prolific forward Janine Beckie didn’t dodge cameras after her missed penalty helped seal Canada’s fate at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and she also explained why legendary striker Christine Sinclair wasn’t at the spot.
Beckie, 24, scored two goals in Canada’s run to the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and the Houston Dash forward and Texas Tech product has 25 goals in 57 caps.
[ MORE: Sweden tops Canada ]
The American-born Beckie was called upon to try to level the score against Sweden on Monday in the Round of 16, and took a solid effort which was parried by Hedvig Lindahl in an outstanding bit of goalkeeping.
“I’m confident in my penalty,” Beckie said. “I thought I hit it really well. I thought she made a really good save. It’s the big moments. It’s the moments that you live for. You get all the glory if it goes in, and you take the blame it feels like if you miss. That’ll stay with me for a long time.”
So why was she at the spot? Here’s Beckie on TSN, and Sinclair’s confirmation of the tale. As we expected, Lindahl’s success against Sinclair at the Algarve Cup played a role.
“Christine actually asked me if I wanted to take it. That’s a big moment for me and it’s gonna be hard for a while.”
Full marks for stepping up to both places: The penalty spot and the post-match interview.
We’ll know the full knockout round bracket following the conclusion of Group C play at the 2019 Copa America on Monday.
[ WATCH LIVE: Copa America play on Telemundo ]
If Chile draws or defeats Uruguay, it will meet Peru in the quarterfinals, sending Uruguay into a date with perfect Colombia.
Meanwhile Japan and Ecuador meet knowing a win is necessary to hope for any further dates in Brazil.
As it stands, Peru is one of the third-place teams to qualify for the next stage, while Paraguay needs Japan and Ecuador to draw in order to hold onto its spot.
You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.
2019 Copa America schedule
Group C: Chile v. Uruguay – 7 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group C: Japan v. Ecuador – 7 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Check back later for recaps and highlights.