Van Dijk said: “At Southampton I am learning much in every game. Much more than in recent years at Celtic. My transfer to Southampton is completely dealt with and I have now played five games in a row. It was a bit hard, but it is getting better. I am learning a lot. The game is much faster, it sometimes seems like a pinball machine.”
Van Dijk’s move to Southampton was expected for much of the summer, even if it did take until the final days for the transfer to be wrapped up.
He had shown he was far too good for the Scottish Premiership, and although he had occasional lapses in European competitions, Van Dijk needed to step up a level in quality to continue his development.
The 24-year-old is still searching to make his debut for the Netherlands, having been called up whilst with the Bhoys without playing a game, but it is now that the centre-back should be ready to take to the field with the Dutch side.
He has proven he is good enough for the Premier League, and that is surely good enough to get him in a Dutch side failing to perform on the international stage right now.
Van Dijk has proven that moving to the Premier League has stepped his career up another level, and unfortunately for Celtic, it could convince other players that they need to leave Parkhead for England to ensure that they develop to the best of their abilities - and potential international recognition.