Virgil Van Dijk
Most of the Dutch footballers usually hail from the academies of the big three in the Netherlands – Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord, but that’s not the case of Van Dijk who started out at Willem II and moved onto Gronigen where he became a senior professional. After fine performances here, he was keen on moving to a bigger club within the league, but instead opted to move to the United Kingdom where Premier League clubs were first interested in him.
Celtic was the next destination for the burly defender as he strutted it out in a league and won it twice with his teammates. At Celtic Park, he learnt to play the way he was supposed to as it was a dress rehearsal for Premier League football. For someone who’s 6’4, he’s quite good with the ball and is usually on the left side of a center back pairing.
His performances to the North of England lead to a move to the St. Mary’s, where he began to walk on water unlike Alia Dia, who ran on ice and got ousted for his failures. Van Dijk instead stayed put and forged a strong partnership with Jose Fonte. He was one of those overrated defenders who played in a smaller team. And he had a very care-free attitude as he was being linked with bigger clubs when he should’ve been focusing on his time at the club.
That showed when he moved to Liverpool for an astronomical figure of 75 million pounds in the winter transfer window. The Anfield club needed a defender that was good at aerial duels as they faced a problem with this very aspect which was letting them down at the back. Going forward, they looked the best team possible, but they lacked solidarity at the back and Van Dijk could be their savior and the route to Premier League or Champions League glory in the near future.