Celtic’s Virgil Van Dijk Would Be Defensive Artist At Southampton Or Everton


Virgil van Dijk has been the latest success from Celtic’s scouting system.

The Dutch central defender arrived in Glasgow as a bit of an unknown in the summer of 2013.

But with Celtic agreeing a £2.6m fee with Groningen for his services, you had a feeling that he must have something about him.

It turns out he has a lot about him and the majority of it is very good indeed.

In his two seasons at Parkhead the defender has been a standout player. His impressive performances for the Hoops have been noticed by English Premier League sides Everton and Southampton.

It’s believed that the Saints have already offered £8m for Virgil but that may not be enough as Everton could top that with a £10m deal.

Firstly, I should point out that the Scottish champions will be unwilling sellers. It will take a bid of around £8m-£12m just to get Celtic to answer the phone with regards to selling Van Dijk.

The Scottish Premiership probably won’t sell until after the 25th of August as the Glasgow club will then know their Champions League fate. There’s no doubt that Celtic boss Ronny Deila will believe that his side’s chances are going to be enhanced with Van Dijk in the team.

Celtic fans will be hoping that qualification to the group stages could be enough to then keep their star defender at the club for one more season.

But personally I think the twenty-four year old would jump at a chance to shine in the Premier League this summer.

A move down south would certainly improve his international chances. Yes he’s made a few Dutch squads since his Celtic move but has still to win a cap with the Netherlands.

Plus playing in one of the best leagues in the world will be a great test for the player and he would love to test himself against some of the best strikers.

And really, is their anything left to do at the ‘Bhoys’ for Van Dijk?

What kind of player would Everton or Southampton get if they signed Virgil van Dijk? 

Well he’s tall, athletic and smart.

He can also be a very classy central defender, who can play the ball out of defence and even step forward himself. His ability on the ball, could also see him deployed as a holding midfielder if needed in the bigger games.

The Dutchman can also get goals from set-pieces and from powerful, accurate shots from distance.

He’s a modern defender much in the David Luiz mould. But he’s not as crazy! Virgil is more assured and doesn’t make as many mistakes as the Brazilian.

Obviously he would have to adapt to the English game. In Scotland at times he seems to stroll through games without much difficulty. That won’t be the case in the Premier League.

Recent Celtic signing Dedryck Boyata has came out and stated that Van Dijk has the qualities needed to be as good as Vincent Kompany one day:

“I’ve played with great defenders and I have to say, Virgil isn’t far away from them.”

“I’m talking about Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Kolo Toure, Jerome Boateng. Virgil already has good qualities and obviously he can still improve.”

“It’s not my place to say if Virgil should stay with Celtic – all I can say is he’s a really good player”.

High praise indeed.

Although I’d urge caution to any fan of the team that may buy Van Dijk this summer, they won’t be buying the new Vincent Kompany. They’d be getting potentially a great player but who might need time to get used to his new surroundings.

That said, at twenty-four he’ll probably take a move in his stride and continue to improve as a player.

So who should Virgil sign for? Everton or Southampton? 

I suppose it could depend on what happens next in the John Stones transfer saga.

If the England centre-back leaves the Toffees for Chelsea then that would make Goodison an attractive destination as he could then come straight in Everton side.

But for me, I think a move to Southampton could be ideal for the classy central defender.

At St Mary’s he will have a clear path to get into the first team after the club failed to re-sign Toby Alderweireld. He would still need to get ahead of Jose Fonte, Steven Caulker and Maya Yoshida.

He can also see that players such as Fraser Forster, Steven Davis and Victor Wanyama have moved from Glasgow and settled in well with the Saints. Although Everton also field quite a few ex-Scottish based players.

A major plus for Virgil at Southampton would be the Dutch contingent that’s currently there.

Manager Ronald Koeman is obviously a legend back in Holland and has a backroom team full of Dutch faces. The Saints squad also has Dutchmen Maarten Stekelenburg and Jordy Clasie in it.

Club captain Jose Fonte has welcomed the Van Dijk link:

“If he comes, he’ll add quality to the team and even more competition at the back, so it will be interesting.”

But the fact still remains that no club has currently agreed a deal with Celtic for Virgil van Dijk. Until that happens he’ll continually be linked with a move to the Premier League as his talent dictates that.

If he does join a team in England’s top flight expect him to hold his own and grow as a player. It might not take long for links to start about him joining a top four side.

2 Responses to “Celtic’s Virgil Van Dijk Would Be Defensive Artist At Southampton Or Everton”

  1. As a long-time CFC supporter when living in my native Glasgow, and a season ticket holder for 35 years at Goodison, I have torn loyalties on this speculated move.

    The fact is that Everton’s defence urgently requires reinforcement, with or without Stones!

  2. […] Back in the summer of 2015, I stated that I believed the Dutchman would be a success if he moved from the Scottish Premiership to the English Premier League. […]

Leave a Reply