Neil McCann stresses Celtic's biggest problem, claims Van Dijk transfer was 'game changer'

Celtic Stands

Neil McCann believes Celtic are already missing Virgil van Dijk.

Pundit Neil McCann has told Sky Sports that there is 'still work' for Ronny Deila to do at Celtic despite closing the gap on leaders Aberdeen.

Whilst the Dons were thrashed 5-1 at home by St. Johnstone on Saturday, Celtic were able to narrowly beat Hamilton Academical 2-1 away from home, meaning the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership is now just one point.

Celtic will once again be the favourites to lift the title for a fifth straight season, but not everybody is quite so convinced by Deila's men.

Former Rangers winger Neil McCann has been discussing Celtic's title hopes on Sky Sports, and refuted the notion that the Bhoys will now cruise to the Scottish Premiership title once again, citing that the loss of Virgil van Dijk is clearly harming the team's defensive capabilities.

"I don't see them cruising," said McCann. "There's still a lot of work there, there's a lot of chopping and changing on the defensive side for Celtic. I said when they lost Van Dijk, that could be game changer, and it's proved to be the case," he added.

Star defender Van Dijk was sold to Southampton on deadline day, with the Dutchman leaving a huge hole to fill in Deila's defence - though Croatian youngster Jozo Simunovic arrived just hours later.

Simunovic's impact has been restricted by a recent injury, whilst Dedryck Boyata has had his ups and down since joining from Manchester City this summer. Error-prone centre back Efe Ambrose continues to struggle, meaning Celtic's defence is in a state of flux right now.

Deila needs Simunovic to settle in quickly after a shaky start to the season, but after conceding just 17 goals in the whole of last season, the Norwegian will be confident that he can make his side sturdy at the back yet again this season.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch