Profit Players: Virgil van Dijk

Profit Players: Virgil van Dijk

Celtic supporters have been in high spirits in recent times after seeing their side head into the current two-week break for internationals off the back of an emphatic Scottish Premiership victory.

Brendan Rodgers’ men went into their encounter with St Johnstone off the back of beating Aberdeen in their previous league match, only to lose 3-1 to Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League a few days later. Yet the Bhoys produced arguably their most impressive display of the season last time out in thumping Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone 6-0 at McDiarmid Park, with four goals from James Forrest alongside strikes from Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor moving Rodgers’ side up to third place in the table.

As such, there have been many thrilled Celtic fans up and down the country in recent times, although many are well aware that this season could prove and is proving to be a testing one given the lack of signings made by the club’s hierarchy during the summer.

Unsurprisingly, the club have been criticised for their inactivity during the close season, which was a far cry away from the praise they received back in 2015 when they sold centre back Virgil van Dijk to Southampton for £14.13 million (as per Transfermarkt), in turn making a hefty £11.43 million profit on the defender.

And while the Bhoys lost a hugely influential player in the Dutchman, his departure enabled fellow centre back Dedryck Boyata, whom they signed from Manchester City earlier that summer, to become a lynchpin at Parkhead.

Ultimately, as has been proven by van Dijk’s meteoric rise in recent years, Celtic certainly helped to unearth a gem in luring the Netherlands international to the club for just £2.7 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in 2013, going on to appear 115 times for the Bhoys.

Such were his obvious qualities at the back, his departure was seemingly inevitable, and so it proved two years later when Southampton lured him to the South Coast, yet Celtic were at least somewhat prepared given they signed Belgian star Boyata a few months earlier.

And the 27-year-old has since gone on to become a lynchpin for the Scottish giants in appearing 113 times for Rodgers’s side, helping them win each of the last three Scottish Premiership titles, as well as helping the club win back-to-back domestic trebles in 2017 and 2018.

Yes, he certainly caused a stir over the summer in reportedly refusing to play for the club amid interest from Premier League side Fulham, but the Belgium international has since returned to the side and produced the goods, helping Rodgers’ team to five clean sheets in his six league starts this term.

Clearly, Boyata is a vital member of the squad at Celtic Park and looks set to play a key part in what success they have this term, with van Dijk’s departure little over three years paving the way for the 27-year-old to emerge as a lynchpin at Parkhead.

Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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