Former Celtic hero Virgil van Dijk has claimed that the Premiership title is all but over.
Celtic currently boast a 10-point lead over title-rivals Rangers having played a game more. This comes after a fine seven-game winning-run in the Premiership since the winter break. Rangers, meanwhile, have lost two games and drawn one in the same period.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, played with Celtic between 2013 and 2015, winning two league titles and a League Cup. Since then he’s become a Premier League sensation with Liverpool. The £75million centre-back has already won the Champions League and will inevitably scoop the Premier League this season too (BBC).
And speaking to the BBC, the big Dutchman stated his belief that the title-race in Scotland was over whilst reserving some praise for Hoops boss Neil Lennon.
“I still watch Celtic games. I have friends there – I’m still in contact with Nir Bitton – and I always keep an eye on how things are going. It’s 10 points’ difference now so it’s not going to be in danger any more – it is Celtic’s title.
“I enjoyed every bit of working under him (Lennon). I appreciate all the people who have helped me in my career and got me where I am today. He brought me to Celtic so I’ll always be grateful to him for that. He has been part of my journey so far. He was good.
“Obviously he was a player himself – he knows how we think, what we go through. As a manager he’s very direct, he tells you straight what is right and wrong. He’s a special manager and special man.”
Kind words from Virgil but work still to be done
Credit to van Dijk for these comments. These are great words about Lennon and the kind of man-manager he is. The fact that he’s still raving about him despite now working under Jurgen Klopp is a massive compliment to the Celtic boss.
It was, of course, Lennon who brought van Dijk to Scotland in 2013. In the end, however, it was Ronny Deila who managed him in his second season at Parkhead before Virgil left for Southampton.
It’s always nice to see players like van Dijk, a player of such enormous pedigree and mega-star status, come out and praise the club. However, Lennon will want to curb any talk of title races being over.
The Dutchman is in a position to say it, but our players aren’t in a place where they can believe it. We’re 10 points clear with 11 games to play – another three points against Kilmarnock today would only take us one small step closer. A prolonged winning run is still required to see this out comfortably.
van Dijk’s comments may also not go down too well at Anfield. After all, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is the Rangers manager and he’ll certainly have plenty of backers in Merseyside. Big Virgil clearly doesn’t care though!
How do you see the title race going at this stage? Is it all but won in your eyes? Is there still more work to do than some think? Let us know your thoughts in your discussion forum below.