- Neil Lennon recalls signing Virgil van Dijk for 2m euro at Celtic19:35 | 23/02/2019
Neil Lennon explains the story behind how he managed to sign Virgil van Dijk for just 2m euro when manager of Celtic.
Celtic signed Virgil van Dijk for 2m euro in 2013
Van Dijk was snapped up as a 21-year-old for the fee back in 2013 when Lennon was impressed with his performance for FC Groningen against Ajax.
The Dutchman’s career has gone from strength-to-strength, moving from Celtic to Southampton and then to Liverpool for £75m in 2017 – a world-record fee for a defender.
Van Dijk is set to spearhead Liverpool’s defence when they take on Manchester United, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.
Lennon hasn’t been surprised about the direction the defender’s career has taken.
“He was outstanding,” he told Soccer AM.
“When the recruitment team showed me videos of him, I thought ‘he’s going to be next the Rio Ferdinand’ – but watching him, I was thinking there must be something wrong with him as I went over to watch him play against Ajax and I was looking around thinking: ‘why are there no scouts here?’.
“I knew we had to get the deal done quickly. We ended up getting him for 2m euro. From the first day in training he was unbelievable. He had everything.
“I said to him on the first day: ‘enjoy yourself here, son, you won’t be here long’.
“It amazed me he was in Scotland for so long. Southampton were smart to get him but it amazed me none of the other big clubs came in as he could have played for Real Madrid or Barcelona.”
Source – Sky Sports
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