Celtic paid huge compliment by Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Nations League A group one match between Germany and Netherlands at Veltins-Arena on...

The Reds defender has credited Celtic for giving him his big break and insists he will always be grateful for his time at Parkhead.

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrate victory following the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield on December 2, 2018...

Few football fans will have any qualms about the notion of Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk being deemed one of the best defenders in the world right now.

The Dutchman's star has gone up and up over the past few years to the point that he is now an indispensable player for club and country.

Liverpool's previously rickety defence was shored up almost immediately following Van Dijk's move from Southampton earlier this year.

 

Now, Jurgen Klopp's side is deemed a bona fide challenger for the Premier League title, while the Netherlands are also on the up following several miserable years.

Six years ago, Van Dijk was playing for modest Eredivisie side Groningen before making the move to Scottish Premiership giants Celtic in January 2013 in a £2.6million deal (BBC Sport).

Then just 21 years old, the previously unknown Dutchman's move went under the radar somewhat, but following his move from Holland to Scotland, he has developed massively.

Virgil van Dijk of Celtic in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Celtic and FC Internazionale Milano on February 19, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

And speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of Liverpool's Premier League trip to Burnley, Van Dijk had some very kind words to say about his former employers north of the border.

"Celtic helped me a lot in making my move to Southampton," he said. "I'm always grateful for that.

"It was a great time for me in my development. Three years abroad adapting to the British style of play and winning trophies for such a big club with amazing fans."

Virgil Van Dijk of Celtic celebrates scoring a goal with his team mates during the William Hill Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Celtic at Hamden Park...

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