Irish striker recalls facing van Dijk during Virgil's Celtic days: 'He just turned to me and said 'I wouldn't even bother, I’m just too good'
- Before joining LFC, VVD played for Southampton and Celtic.
- In his last game for the Scottish heavyweights, the centre-back played against St Johnstone.
- Graham Cummins was marked by van Dijk in that game.
- The Irishman joked that Virgil's display against him sealed the defender's move to So'ton.
- He recalls being completely unable to compete with the Dutchman.
The Dutch defender was a Celtic player during that time and marked the Irish centre-forward. Cummins says that the difference in the level between him and Virgil was obvious at that time and jokes that he was instrumental in van Dijk's move to the Premier League.
"He left the day after we played against them," the striker recalled in an interview with the Irish Examiner. "That’s my claim to fame, that’s what pushed the Southampton deal over the line, that he marked me.
"We were told in the dressing room, stop him, rather than him stopping you. Get behind the ball when he gets it, because he’ll run the pitch no bother.
"The first ball, I tried to sprint with him and he just boshed me out of it. I was out of breath and blowing out of backside and he just turned to me and said 'I wouldn't even bother, I’m just too good'."
If you're wondering, Celtic won that game 3-1. The only goal The Bhoys conceded was an own goal by Dedryck Boyata.
Three days after, van Dijk joined Southampton. After impressing with the Saints, the Dutchman moved to Liverpool in January 2018. At that time, many fans questioned the £75m fee the Reds paid for the defender, but those doubts are long gone now.
Until last summer, VVD was the most expensive defender in the world: