Celtic striker Anthony Stokes explains why he 'slaughtered' teammate Virgil van Dijk

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Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has praised the ability of Virgil Van Dijk.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has not let Virgil Van Dijk forget about missing a sitter against Hearts last weekend.

The Dutch defender may have scored twice in the Bhoys' 4-0 win, but Stokes has been more keen to remind the centre-back about his close-range miss rather than his goalscoring exploits. 

Indeed, even though Van Dijk hit the back of the net again in midweek - scoring the winner in Celtic's match against Partick - Stokes still hasn't let him off the hook. 

“I slaughtered him for that miss,” Stokes joked with the club's official site. “My assists should be adding up this season but I don’t know how he’s missed it. It’s maybe taken a bobble so I’ll let him away with it because he did score two."

Van Dijk has now hit six goals for the season, but it is his form at the other end of the pitch which has earning him most of the plaudits.

The 23-year-old looks the star turn in the current Celtic squad and has been linked with a move to a number of big clubs across Europe.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists that the centre-back will only be sold if they receive an inflated fee for him, but keeping Van Dijk could be difficult given his talents. 

And, even despite Stokes giving Van Dijk a ribbing about his miss, he did balance out his joking criticism of his teammate by joining the growing list of admirers of his ability. 

"He’s still young but he’s already been in and around the national squad with the Netherlands and that shows just how highly he’s thought of and he’s only going to get better," Stokes said. 

“As a young player he’s only going to improve and he’s at a very high standard as it is.”

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