Virgil van Dijk signed for Neil Lennon’s Celtic back in the day and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Dutchman who now plays his football in the Premier League with Liverpool has gone from strength to strength in recent years; becoming the most expensive defender in world football, playing in a Champions League final and challenging for the Premier League top spot.
Virgil’s talents were there from the very beginning and his move to Celtic back in the day has been discussed quite a lot since the player’s rise to prominence among his peers.
Celtic fans who seen this guy play knew he was something special and the narrative to this point about him signing for the club that it was an easy layup for the bhoys and as soon as we saw the defender the club went about signing him.
According to Ex-Celtic Scout Neil McGuinness, this was NOT the case and there was, in fact, some resistance to Celtic signing Virgil back when the scouting team had looked at him.
Speaking to SunSport, the former Celtic scout said:
“He was far from the finished article but had the correct mentality to release his potential.
“I was keen on him from the start but it was hard to get some people on board internally at the club who disagreed and had differing options.
“In the end I had to fast-track the player and show him directly to manager Neil Lennon and assistant Johan Mjallby.
“I had concerns we may lose him if we didn’t act in a quicker manner.”
Neil Lennon spoke about seeing Virgil in action and thinking there was a catch but it appears there were dissenting voices at the club who were not on board with bringing the player in. Although, the mystery surrounds who exactly these people were.
McGuinness said he fast-tracked the player to Neil Lennon personally, which is a nice way of saying he’s gone over someone’s head. Was this the much-praised John Park who has been linked with a return to the club?