Dusan Tadic believes Virgil van Dijk will achieve anything he wants in the game as long as he remains calm amidreports Chelsea and Manchester City could be after him in the summer.
Van Dijk was earning rave reviews for his performances in the Premier League with Southampton before he got injured against Leicester City on January 22 and he is yet to return to action.
His absence has not deterred rumours that England's elite clubs want to sign him in the summer and he is expected to cost around £50 million.
Tadic, who played with Van Dijk at Groningen as well as Southampton, says players like the Netherlands international are rare in modern football.
"He is a very good player,"TadictoldGoal."I have known him for a long time. We played for Groningen together and he was coming from the youth system there. I know him from that time, now he has improved a lot.
"Back then, you could see that he would become a very good player and we have missed him a lot [in the past few months]. I hope he can recover quickly and that he will keep playing how he was playing.
"I am not surprised [that big teams want Van Dijk]. There are not so many choices [for top defenders]. He is a very good player and I hope he will recover well and keep playing well for Southampton.
"I think he is a clever boy and that he needs to be calm and work on recovering and then everything will come into place. You need to be professional and then everything that he wishes will happen."
Tadic himself has been in good form and scored and assisted twice for his country in their 3-1 win over Georgia during the international break. Now 28 and established in the Premier League, Tadic has made many friends since his move to Southampton after his £10.9 million move in 2014.
Southampton have seen many star players leave over recent years, and Tadic says one of those he missesmost is Graziano Pelle, who moved joined Chinese club Shandong Luneng in a £12 million deal. Tadic thinks that criticism of Pelle for makingthe lucrative move was harsh.
"I miss him a lot. He was an important player on the pitch and we are very close,"Tadiccontinued."I just wish him the best because he is a very good guy. Yes, I think I understand him, he had a fantastic offer and he wanted to finish and take that situation.
"Everyone needs to assess their situation and that’s it. Everyone makes a move for a reason. I think football in China will improve, it is a big project but they are going to need to buy a lot more players to catch up with Europe."