We all knew Virgil Van Dijk was a smooth operator in his Celtic days, but new revelations from one of his former opponents may still surprise some Hoops fans.

The name of Graham Cummins may be familiar to some Hoops supporters who take a keen interest in the wider Scottish game.

Graham Cummins

Graham Cummins (Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Irish forward spent two seasons at St. Johnstone between 2015 and 2017 – and came up against Van Dijk on one afternoon he struggles to forget.

“He left the day after we played against them. That’s my claim to fame, that’s what pushed the Southampton deal over the line, that he marked me,” the Waterford striker joked to the Irish Examiner.

“We were told in the dressing room, stop him, rather than him stopping you.

“Get behind the ball when he gets it, because he’ll run the pitch no bother.


“The first ball, I tried to sprint with him and he just boshed me out of it.

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Van Dijk celebrates for Celtic

Van Dijk celebrates for Celtic (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“I was out of breath and blowing out of backside and he just turned to me and said ‘I wouldn’t even bother, I’m just too good.”

Van Dijk has absolutely everything in his locker

The revelation from Cummins is magical, but not completely hard to imagine.

We all know the aura Van Dijk had around him in Scotland. To be fair, he still carries it right now when playing against some of the best talent English football has to offer.

Van Dijk in action for Liverpool

Van Dijk in action for Liverpool (Photo by Richard Calver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Fans rarely hear about these glorious exchanges during the heat of battle and that’s what makes Cummins’ contribution so funny.

Put yourself in his shoes for a minute. You’re going up against a world class player, who can attack just as well as he defends.

Then he opens his mouth and puts you in your place too. It’s no wonder Van Dijk had so much success up here.

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