Ex-director says Van Dijk's Celtic move was 'perfect step'
Former Groningen technical director Henk Veldmate has told ESPN that Virgil Van Dijk’s decision to sign for Celtic in 2013 was ‘perfect’.
Van Dijk has just clinched a £75 million move from Southampton to Liverpool, becoming the world’s most expensive defender.
Veldmate, now working at Ajax, was in post at Groningen when the Dutch side sold him to Celtic five years ago.
And he believes the decision to move to Celtic was the right step for the defender, and has been proven correct.
Veldmate said: “I think that Celtic was the perfect step for him. It was a higher level, but it prepared him best to go to England afterwards.
“It was in his mind — and I think he was right with it — that it is a big step to go from the Eredivisie to the Premier League. But to go to Celtic, a big club in Scotland, he got used to playing in Britain. I think it was the best thing for him to do.”
Celtic sold Van Dijk to Southampton in 2015 and have just benefited from a 10 per cent sell on fee.
Van Dijk has a lot of pressure to deal with at Liverpool, but got his Reds career off to a perfect start at the weekend.
He scored the winner in Liverpool’s FA Cup victory over Everton with a late header in a 2-1 win.