Former Celtic defender Steven Mouyokolo has been opening up on his time at the club in the 2013/14 season this weekend, sharing with The Daily Record that he always knew he may struggle for game time.
Mouyokolo joined the club after impressing manager Neil Lennon during a pre-season trial but a campaign blighted by injury ruined his progress and he was eventually let go at the end of his one-year deal.
The former Hull and Wolves man would make just two appearances for the club.
Still, he fondly remembers his time in Glasgow, even if he had a feeling his game time would be limited after first witnessing superstar Virgil van Dijk in training at Lennoxtown.
As quoted by The Daily Record, the retired defender said: “After I arrived at Celtic I phoned my agent and told him there was a big problem. It was going to be difficult for me to play – and the reason was Virgil.
“In the first two weeks of training I was thinking: ‘This guy is serious and it’s going to be very competitive.’ His confidence struck me and I could see it in his eyes he was hungry for success. He came from a tough background and that made him impenetrable.
“Virgil knew exactly what he wanted and he became a £75m player because he worked so hard. He was amazing. There were only three centre-backs at the time and we spent a lot of time together – I loved Virgil.”
Van Dijk would play most of that season alongside Efe Ambrose before forming an essential partnership with Jason Denayer and subsequently leaving the club after two seasons.
Mouyokolo’s injury problems would eventually force his retirement and he has now moved into real estate but clearly he still takes pride in the fact he once lined up alongside one of the most famous names in football right now.
He may even wonder what might have been for him at Celtic had he not injured his Achilles.
The paths a footballer’s career can take have rarely been so divergent as van Dijk’s and his.