Ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon claims he knew Virgil van Dijk would not stay at the Glasgow club very long right from day one.
The defender made such a good impression in his first training session, Lennon says he was instantly sure he could become the player he has become now.
Celtic signed the Dutchman from Groningen, before he moved to Southampton in 2015. Since coming to the Reds, he has proven to be great value for money, even at a world-record £75 million.
Speaking to BT Sport on Saturday afternoon, Lennon said: “I was really surprised that no one came in earlier for him when he was at Celtic.
“After one day I pulled him in after training and said to him, ‘Look, you’re not going to be here long, so enjoy yourself’. He was just that good. He had everything: pace, great physicality, technique and superb in the air in both boxes.”
Van Dijk has certainly proven his former boss to be correct – in every aspect, he is absolutely world-class.
There is no better centre-back in the Premier League – or indeed, the world – at this moment in time; he’ll be a big miss in the first leg against Bayern Munich at Anfield, when he is suspended.
He will return to the side for the trip to Old Trafford next weekend, and will be available for the second leg against Bayern next month.