Liverpool star reveals the Celtic transfer 'dare' that paved route to Anfield and a blockbuster fee

The star has said thanks to the Hoops.The star has said thanks to the Hoops.
The star has said thanks to the Hoops.
The Liverpool star has sent his thanks to Celtic for a transfer decision they made.

Virgil Van Dijk says Celtic's bullish approach to signing him has paved his route to his Liverpool hero status.

The Dutch defender is now classed as one of the best centre-backs in the world, having won the Premier League and Champions League amongst other honours at Anfield. He signed for the Reds in 2018 from Southampton in a deal worth a blockbuster £75m.

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It was a large fee but one well spent with Van Dijk proving a bedrock for the Liverpool defence. He started his career in his native Netherlands with Groningen, but as current Holland boss Ronald Koeman wanted to take him to Feyenoord, a £3m deal was deemed too expensive. That allowed Celtic to swoop in 2013 to kickstart a two-year Parkhead stint.

Van Dijk told The Sun: “Koeman wanted to bring me from Groningen when I was at Feyenoord. But they thought I was too expensive at the time. When you play for Groningen as a young boy, a step to the top of the Dutch league is logical - it’s the traditional route.

“But the top three clubs, Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV, were not convinced of my qualities. So it was Celtic for me. That was the club that did dare to take me on. And that meant that I had to make a move that may have raised a few question marks.

“Later, Koeman picked me up from Celtic when he became coach of Southampton. Then, not long after that Liverpool signed up. It was all meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. Southampton were not the biggest club in the Premier League but we had the best season in their history. That was also a good choice for me on the way to where I have ended up now.”

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