“It’s not going to be in danger any more – it is Celtic’s title,’ Virgil van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk has revealed that still keeps up to date with Celtic results and watches games while he can despite being a global superstar with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Van Dijk keeps in touch with Nir Bitton, whom he was close with in Glasgow and reckons that the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership is such that Celtic are now certain to win 9-in-a-row.

The Dutch central defender joined Celtic in 2013 from Groningen and is now a few games away from becoming a Premier League winner with the Reds. Van Dijk believes that the point difference between Celtic and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard’s Rangers means that the league is all but won for Neil Lennon’s side.

“I still watch Celtic games. I have friends there – I’m still in contact with Nir Bitton – and I always keep an eye on how things are going,” BBC Sport Scotland reported.

“It’s 10 points difference now so it’s not going to be in danger any more – it is Celtic’s title.”

Virgil van Dijk competes for the ball against Andy Robertson

Van Dijk, who was second for the Ballon D’Or in December, has singled the man that brought him to British football, Neil Lennon as having an impact on where he is now. Lennon spotted the talent in the young Dutch defender.

“I enjoyed every bit of working under him. I appreciate all the people who have helped me in my career and got me where I am today.

“He brought me to Celtic so I’ll always be grateful to him for that. He has been part of my journey so far. He was good.”

The mentality of Lennon as a manager was praised by Van Dijk who’s worked with top managers such as Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel and, of course, Klopp. The fact that the Irishman was a player with a winning mentality engrained upon him means that he is constantly striving to improve with Van Dijk regarding him as ‘special’.

“Obviously he was a player himself, he knows how we think, what we go through. As a manager he’s very direct, he tells you straight what is right and wrong. He’s a special manager and special man.”

Lennon coached him for a year before the Irishman left the club but Van Dijk remained at Celtic for another year before Southampton sealed a £13m deal for the star defender.

Van Dijk spent two-and-a-half years on the South coast before joining Liverpool for what was then the record sum paid for a defender, a whopping £75m.

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He plans to be at every game until we get to the Ten ourselves. He's in his Honours Year studying Law and plans to specialise in Sports Law when he graduates. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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