Celtic manager Ronny Deila has praised Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk for his attitude after the club blocked a potential move to the Premier League during the closing stages of the transfer window.
Van Dijk, 23, has been one of the most impressive performers in the Scottish Premiership since a £2.6 million move from Eredivisie outfit FC Gronigen last summer, earning a call-up to the Netherlands national team this month.
However, after being linked with the likes of Newcastle United, Sunderland, Southampton and even Arsenal in recent weeks, the centre-back was understood to have been left frustrated at the club for failing to consider bids for his services, leading to him being left out of the lineup for the league game against Dundee.
Deila insists, though, that his star man is now 100 per cent committed to the cause going forward, and doesn’t believe he needs to leave the club in order to aid his international career, as some have suggested.
‘He was fantastic in training today,’ he told reporters. ‘He is smiling. It is no problem.
‘We speak all the time. People can wish for things but if you don’t get your wishes sometimes you know how lucky you are to be in the situation you are in.
‘He spoke about taking a new step in his career and thought that it was important but he also understands the situation at the club.
‘He is at a very big club and he has opportunities to achieve here. I don’t think that he needs to leave to play in the national team.
‘He is one of the best players I have seen when he is at the top of his game.
‘He just needs to be consistent and if he does that with Celtic I can’t understand why he can’t be picked for the national squad.’
While Celtic have managed to keep hold of Van Dijk for now, it remains to be seen how things will unfold during the winter transfer window, with a host of clubs from south of the border sure to be renewing interest in his signature.