Every summer, certain transfer sagas persist over the course of the window. The chase for Virgil van Dijk looks to be one such one this summer, with half a dozen Premier League clubs said to be tracking the Dutch defender.
Van Dijk began his career with Willem II before moving to Groningen back in 2010, making his first-team debut in April, 2011. He featured more prominently during the 2011-12 season, making 23 league appearances, and scoring his first professional goal in the 6-0 thrashing of Feyenoord. In the 2012-13 season, van Dijk had firmly established himself as an important first-team player, making 34 appearances in the Eredivisie. In total, he played 66 times for Groningen in all competitions, scoring seven times.
In 2013, van Dijk made the switch to Scotland, with Celtic acquiring their man for a fee of around £2.6 million. He quickly established himself as a standout performer for the Hoops, and was notably part of the record-breaking defence that went 1,215 minutes without conceding in 2014; surpassing a 43-year-old Scottish League record.
With Celtic, van Dijk’s reputation has continued to flourish. He won the Players’ Player Award in his first season in Glasgow, along with the Premiership title. With the Dutchman’s dominant displays at the back becoming a recurring thing, further accolades followed in a consecutive Premiership title campaign, as well as the Scottish League Cup.
Van Dijk was born to a Dutch father and Surinamese Mother, making him eligible to play for either nation. He made the decision to play for his country of birth, and so turned out for the Netherlands at Under-19 and Under-21 levels. Van Dijk was named in the senior side’s preliminary squad for a friendly game against Mexico in November 2014, but failed to make the final cut. As of today, he has yet to play for the Netherlands, although his recent performances at club level suggest he will make his bow in the not too distant future.
With his Celtic career up in the air, a move to the Premier League could suit all parties involved. Although it would leave a gaping whole in the middle of their defence, the Bhoys would receive a hefty return on the transfer fee they paid for him, van Dijk would be able to further progress at a more competitive level and the English club in question would benefit from gaining a player of high quality.