Exclusive: Chris Sutton reveals Arsenal interest in Virgil van Dijk

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Arsenal are likely to step-up their interest in highly rated Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk when the transfer window reopens in January, according to ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton.

The former Hoops forward has revealed that the young Dutch centre-back has gathered a lot of admirers with some impressive performances at Celtic Park, including a side in Arsenal who have looked desperately short of defensive cover so far this season.

Sutton, who will be part of the presenting team on Thursday for BT Sport when Celtic play FC Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League, exclusively told GiveMeSport: “He is in the national squad now and big things are hoped from him. There seems to be a fair bit of interest in him, from Arsenal nonetheless.”

Will Arsene Wenger finally act in January?

Arsenal have had the worst start to a Premier League campaign in 32 years and have looked particularly frail in defence, as injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny among others have forced left-back Nacho Monreal to deputise at centre-half.

Van Dijk is yet to make his international debut but has been called up to the Dutch squad, his omission from Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad was one of the big talking points in Holland at the time following an impressive season in Glasgow.

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Van Dijk looks capable of playing in the Premier League

The 23-year-old moved to Celtic last season after three successful years at Groningen and has already made 70 appearances for the Hoops, scoring eight goals.

Celtic snapped up Van Dijk for just £2.6 million, but have now attached a price tag of around £8m for their key centre-back.

He played a crucial role in the defence that went 1,215 minutes without conceding a goal last season and won the club’s Players’ Player of the Year award. Premier League clubs will certainly be sniffing around in January, with a lot of defences in desperate need of strengthening and looking for qualities that Van Dijk definitely possesses.

BT Sport has live coverage of UEFA Europa League games throughout the group stages and beyond, as well live coverage of 4 SPFL games before the end of December including Dundee Utd v Celtic (5th Dec). Visit BT for more information.

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