Graeme Souness claims Rangers' struggles caused Premier League trio to leave Celtic

Rangers legend Graeme Souness believes Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama could have stayed at Celtic if Rangers had been competition.

Ibrox legend and current pundit Graeme Souness has told Sky Sports that he thinks a host of players left Celtic because they didn't have the competition of Rangers.

Rangers beat Dumbarton 1-0 at Ibrox on Tuesday night, securing promotion to the Scottish Premiership by winning the Championship at a canter.

Manager Mark Warburton has enjoyed a stunning first season in charge of the Gers, and whilst almost everybody in Glasgow is looking forward to the Scottish Cup semi-final clash between Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic, the two teams will now lock horns on a regular basis in the top flight.

Rangers' promotion has brought up the discussion surrounding whether they can immediately challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title, given that the Bhoys are on course to win it for a fifth year in a row.

Much has been made of the lack of competition Celtic have faced since Rangers' collapse in 2012, and Ibrox legend Graeme Souness has had his say on the situation.

Souness told Sky Sports that he thinks Celtic need to have Rangers battling them for the title, and thinks the Gers' spell in the lower leagues has been bad for Scottish football as a whole.

Souness also added that Southampton trio Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk - who left Celtic for the Premier League in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively - wouldn't have left the Bhoys had they had competition from Rangers in recent years.

"No one can argue it's not been bad for Scottish football for Rangers not to be in the Premier League," said Souness. "If the shoe had been on the other foot, I am sure Rangers supporters would have celebrated Celtic having the same problems. But that's the short-term outlook because Celtic, since Rangers went down, have not really had a challenge." 

"There's been a bit of a challenge from Aberdeen but it's not been sustained. [Virgil] van Dijk, [Victor] Wanyama, [Fraser] Forster, three of Celtic's better players, have gone. Do Celtic sell them if Rangers are still a challenge? No," he added.

Do you agree with Souness' comments?

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