Neil Lennon remembers his comment to Virgil van Dijk after his first day at Celtic

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Virgil van Dijk is pretty good, isn't he?

There were eyebrows raised when Liverpool shelled out £75 million for his services in December 2017, but he might go down as one of the best Premier League signings in recent years.

His quality was certainly apparent during his three years with Southampton, but even the most optimistic Kopite couldn't have expected such a positive impact.

Over halfway through the season and many are heralding Van Dijk as the best defender in the world, especially considering a drop in form from Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

Forming a brilliant partnership with Joe Gomez during the opening months, the Dutchman is now the favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Brilliance from Van Dijk

It's been a whirlwind 12 months for Van Dijk and he'll be hoping to get his hands on the Premier League title come May, despite Manchester City tracking them closely.

And although his success can be traced back to Groningen, it was with Celtic where the 27-year-old really made his name and showed his quality in Scottish football between 2013 and 2015.

Winning two Scottish Premier League titles and the Scottish League Cup, it was an incredibly successful spell and he left a lasting impression on manager Neil Lennon.

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Van Dijk's first day at Celtic

During an appearance on BT Sport this weekend, the former Hibernian boss recalled being blown away by Van Dijk's first training session and even remembers his follow-up comment.

"I was really surprised that no one came in earlier for him when he was at Celtic," Lennon said live on the programme.

"After one day I pulled him in after training and said to him 'Look, you're not going to be here long, so enjoy yourself.'

"He was just that good. And I couldn't believe our luck that we had got him from Groningen for €2million. He had everything.

"Pace, great physicality, technique and superb in the air in both boxes."

Lennon was probably very happy with two years of Van Dijk then! 

It was clear from his very first days in Glasgow that the Dutchman was destined for bigger things, a forecast that has been vindicated by his recent performances at Liverpool.

He simply pervades quality defending, improving the centre-backs that partner him and quelling some of the finest strikers in European football.

When you consider people are calling £75 million a bargain, it was an unbelievable coup for Celtic at the comparatively minuscule price of €2 million.

Things have just been getting better and better since then.


Do you think Van Dijk is the best defender in the world? Have your say in the comments section below.

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