Craig Gordon raves about Celtic's Jozo Simunovic, plays down Van Dijk comparison

Craig Gordon says Celtic won't get another Virgil van Dijk, but he does rate Jozo Simunovic.

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has told The Scottish Sun that whilst he rates Jozo Simunovic highly, he can't be expected to become the next Virgil van Dijk.

Simunovic, 21, joined Celtic from Dinamo Zagreb on transfer deadline day, and he was clearly signed to be Van Dijk's replacement for the Bhoys.

Van Dijk had joined Southampton in the Premier League earlier on deadline day, bringing his two-year spell in Glasgow to an end after a string of outstanding performances.

The Dutchman's departure was always going to be a blow for Celtic and their manager Ronny Deila, bu they feel that they did land a suitable replacement in Simunovic.

The Croatian centre back has showed real quality in his performances so far, with the only problem being that he has suffered a number of knocks to keep him out of the side through injury.

A comparison to Van Dijk will always be made given that he replaced him at Celtic, but Simunovic has been praised for his own qualities by Bhoys goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Speaking to The Scottish Sun, Gordon hailed Simunovic as a good signing, but tried to play down any talk of a comparison to Van Dijk, stating that Celtic are unlikely to find another player quite like the Dutchman.

"I think Jozo’s a good player and a good signing," said Gordon. "He’s so quick and you can see that when he gets back in to make some great recovery tackles. It’s a great attribute for a defender. He has everything and he’s still a young boy. In training, he looks a solid defender and can be a good player for us.

"I think he can replace Virgil. You will never get another like Virgil, who could also stick a free-kick in the top corner! He was a bit of a one-off and a fantastic all-round footballer. But Jozo can take the ball into the next third and play a pass and he’s quick, just as Virgil was. He’s strong in the tackle and decent in the air and, over time, he could come through to be a very big player for us," he added.

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