As he asserts his dominance over the English game, Celtic fans will be admiring like proud parents from former defender Virgil van Dijk’s ascent up the footballing ladder.
For a club as iconic as Celtic it is always bittersweet when they see one of their finest players move on to “bigger” competitions.
However, there is an undeniable satisfaction in seeing a product of their passion and support introduced into the limelight – with help from FC Groningen, of course – and become one of the world’s most revered.
And that is exactly what Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk has done since switching the Scottish Premiership for the English Premier League.
But he will not be forgetting his beginnings anytime soon.
The Scottish Premier League is no walk in the park; it is physical, it is demanding, and it is extremely tough to acclimatise to. Especially when moving from the Eredivisie where, with all due respect, ‘total football’ is evidently valued a little more.
That said, the highly combative years he spent in Glasgow is what has made his so successful in his new surroundings.
As far as we are concerned, without getting beaten around Inverness, Aberdeen, and Dundee in miserable Scottish weather, how else would he have adapted to the trials and tribulations of our fine game? He likely would not have.
You also must remember that for all the hype around his recent performances, his time in Scotland remains his most fruitful.
A hand in three Scottish League titles and a Scottish League Cup trumps winning nothing at all, at the end of the day.
However, there is no doubt that Liverpool will eventually win some form of silverware in the coming years as long as the big Dutchman anchoring at the back.
Van Dijk is literally too good not to.
Indeed, there always that feeling that the club would be back to winning ways when they sorted out their defence, and Celtic have provided them with their man.
He is already in the process of guiding them to the best defensive record in the League, now he just needs a title to show for it.
How much of a part did Celtic play in Virgil van Dijk’s meteoric rise into footballing superstardom?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!