Virgil van Dijk's rise may mean big clubs start buying directly from Celtic
Virgil van Dijk’s meteoric rise in recent years may have positive implications for Celtic in the future.
The stopper, who is now the world’s most expensive defender, left Celtic for Southampton in 2015.
The Bhoys only raked in £13m from that initial transfer. However after Van Dijk’s move to Liverpool, it was reported by Forbes that Celtic made up to £7.5m after a successful sell on clause.
The Dutch defender has been sensational for Liverpool. He played a key role in taking them to the Champions League final last season.
But will his transfer from Southampton to Liverpool serve as a catalyst for a future windfall for Celtic?
Celtic of course, would never expect to get up to the reported £75m fee Southampton raked in from the sale.
However, Van Dijk’s ability did not drastically improve in the two-and-a-half years he spent on the south coast.
Yes, he became a better player, but the signs were already there at Celtic. He was clearly a level above everything in Scotland.
He slotted into the Southampton back line immediately. Surely Liverpool would’ve been satisfied with the player Southampton got in 2015, for a fraction of the price they paid.
The next big money mover?
Van Dijk’s move should pave the way for clubs to cut out the middle man. Celtic need to get tougher when negotiating transfers, and they’ve shown signs they will do just that.
They played hardball surrounding the future of Moussa Dembele, and sold him for a record fee of £20m.
In the future, there will be others linked with moves away from Celtic. Olivier Ntcham and Dedryck Boyata are the most obvious two.
If Boyata does sign a new contract, it is not impossible for Celtic to fetch close to the £20m they got for Dembele. Although Van Dijk is a far superior central defender, Celtic should be aiming to beat the £13m they got in 2015.
Ntcham is a Rolls Royce of a footballer, he has shown countless times for Celtic his ability to dictate big games for the club. He also has a reputation from his time as a trainee at Manchester City.
Celtic’s message should be clear, our players are clearly good enough to play at the highest level. The big clubs should save themselves £30-40m and buy from us directly.
And what if those mid-table clubs want to sign our players instead? Well they have to pay the same price as the supposed bigger clubs.
It’s time for Celtic to get tough, otherwise we’ll realise sooner rather than later that Van Dijk was robbed from us for only £13m.