Celtic prospect Fiacre Kelleher admits he would love to emulate recently-sold Virgil van Dijk

Celtic teenager Fiacre Kelleher wants to follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk.

Celtic teenager Fiacre Kelleher has told The Scottish Sun that he wants to become like Virgil van Dijk, who left the Bhoys in September.

Bhoys fans are excited about the future with prospects such as Aiden Nesbitt and Kieran Tierney coming up through the ranks, and now Kelleher is another youngster who will be hoping to make the grade at Celtic Park.

The giant, 6ft 5in defender is tipped for a big future, and with some question marks in the Bhoys defence so far this season, the 19-year-old will be hoping to impress Ronny Deila, with a view to making his first team debut this season.

Those defensive troubles for Celtic have stemmed from Virgil van Dijk's departure, with the Dutch sensation leaving Glasgow in order to sign for Premier League outfit Southampton back in Septmber.

Now, prospect Kelleher has told The Scottish Sun that he worked closely with Van Dijk during their time together at Celtic, and admitted that he wants to follow in the centre back's footsteps due to the similarities between the two players.

"Virgil’s a great player — and I’d love to be like him," said Kelleher. "He was always very helpful to me here. I tried to learn as much as I could from him. I like to play from the back as much as I can. That’s the way the gaffer wants us to play and I just try to incorporate that into my game.

"I’m quiet off the pitch but as soon as I get on the pitch I’m loud. I’m very competitive. I’ve got a passion to win and get fired up. I try to lead by example," he added.

Kelleher has a long way to go before he can think about matching Van Dijk's success at Celtic, but learning from the Dutchman will have been a positive step in his development.

Having seen fellow defender Tierney emerge in the first team, Kelleher doesn't have to look far for encouragement as he looks to make his name with Deila's men - and with more strong performances at youth level, he the Irishman could be handed his opportunity.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch