Former Celtic defender Jason Denayer always knew that his one-time Hoops teammate Virgil Van Dijk would go on to have a successful career, the Scottish Sun reports.
The duo played for one season together for the Hoops, in 2014-15, and helped Celtic to a Premiership and League Cup double.
However, the partnership was broken up as Denayer returned to Macnester City on loan. Denayer has disclosed that he knew that Van Dijk, now probably the world’s best centre-back, would have great success.
“I played beside Virgil in defence at Celtic, and he was someone with enormous potential. It was already visible even before he went even further in the game” Denayer said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“Virgil has worked hard and got what he deserved. For defenders, it’s always good to have players like him.”
It is a real pity that the duo only played for one season together for Celtic. If they spent more time together at the club, then maybe the Hoops would have gone far in Europe, as the duo really did work well together.
A pity that partnership only lasted one season
Sadly, by the end of the following season both players had left the club, with Van Dijk heading to Southampton. Celtic had a massively successful 2010s, winning a whole host of trophies.
However, the early break-up of the Denayer/Van Dijk partnership has to go down as one of the few ‘what ifs’ of the last decade at Celtic.
Maybe if the duo had stayed a bit longer, Ronny Deila’s time as Celtic boss wouldn’t have been so brief. Still, the duo were excellent for the club.