Celtic youngster Bosun Lawal responds to Bhoys legend's Van Dijk comparison
Celtic youngster Bosun Lawal has reflected on a Virgil van Dijk comparison made by Bhoys legend Tom Boyd.
Boyd, who was analysing the recent Celtic v Rangers Glasgow Cup clash, though Lawal had distinct attributes that made him a good fit for the first-team. That, and he compared the Celtic B Team star to Virgil van Dijk; lofty praise indeed, considering the Dutchman’s trajectory since he came to Glasgow in 2013.
“[He can] just cause confusion in organised defences that we go up against. He’s certainly one that’s stood up and looking very comfortable in possession, a physical presence as well.”
Boyd would know; he made over 300 Celtic appearances, gaining 72 caps for Scotland. He’s seen plenty of good players in his time.
Bosun Lawal seemed to be happy with the comparison. But while he’ll take pleasure in being compared to arguably the world’s best centre-back, it’s about taking influence from different players, he says. Lawal told Celtic’s in-house media [Celtic FC]: “I see van Dijk really, yeah, I watch a lot of van Dijk.
“A bit [Kalidou] Koulibaly. I try to take a bit from a lot of centre-backs and defenders, and just mould into one. I can try to be like them, but I can just be myself. Just play the way I play. That’s it, really.”
Comparisons to players like van Dijk can be unhelpful, but Celtic youngster Bosun Lawal seems to be taking it in his stride
Let’s make it clear; there’s a touch of Virgil van Dijk about the way Bosun Lawal plays for Celtic. He’s excellent at carrying the ball, he can play a long, precise pass like the Dutchman, and he’s very hard to get past.
Since van Dijk became a real stand-out, a generation of prospective centre-backs have probably attempted to mould their game in his image. He is the archetypal modern centre-back; comfortable in possession, elite at reading the game, and incredibly well-timed when he needs to make a challenge.
That doesn’t make it less of a compliment from Tom Boyd, though. It’s not as if the former Celtic captain was picking B Team players from a hat and comparing them to elite players. This was specific praise.
That kind of label can way heavy on a player, mind. How often have we heard about the next Zidane, Messi or Ronaldo, only to end up with a Bruno Cheyrou, Bojan Krkic and Bébé?
So it’s important we don’t get too besotted with the idea that Bosun Lawal is the next Virgil van Dijk. The former Watford man’s approach is the best one; take the compliments, continue to pick up good habits from top defenders, and forge your own path.
Intelligent, refreshingly honest and a hell of a prospect, Bosun Lawal seems like a really exciting prospect.