Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk explains what he learned playing in Europe last season

Virgil van Dijk looks to be developing into a top class defender with Celtic.

The Dutch centre-back looks to be fulfilling his potential with the Bhoys, and he has told the Daily Record that playing in the Europa League last term forced him to learn some key aspects in the course of his development.

The 24-year-old said: “Last year was a big learning curve for me, especially in Europe. I had some good days and bad days, particularly after the Inter Milan game. I know I just need to be calm, not get stressed and be confident in what I can do. If things go wrong you need to remain calm, believe in yourself and with the help of the players it will go well.

“It has only made me stronger and I feel ready for anything.”

These are certainly promising words from the defender, and they back up his improving abilities on the football field.

A talented centre-back, with a strong goal record and the ability to play out of the back, van Dijk is the archetypal modern day defender.

Celtic have allowed him the opportunities to develop with consistent first-team football, and the chances to play in Europe at such a young age have been vital in pitting the defender against top level attackers as a way to keep progressing.

It is no surprise that van Dijk has become a key transfer target for a number of Premier League sides due to his rise to prominence, with Southampton the most recent team to submit an offer for him - as per the Scottish Sun.

Celtic have no desire to lose one of their key players, especially with the ambition to reach the Champions League group stages this season, but if he is to ensure his development into a truly top level player continues, van Dijk will surely need to move to a better league in the coming years.

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