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Virgil van Dijk believes Stefan Johansen was the best player he played with at Celtic


Virgil van Dijk believes Stefan Johansen was the best player he played with at Celtic

Celtic fans will agree that Johansen had an excellent campaign in his one full season with Van Dijk at Parkhead.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been entertaining his fans on Twitter with a Q&A session amid the current global health crisis. 

The world’s best defender answered plenty of questions relating to his current club and the Dutch national team. 

But he was also quizzed by some Celtic fans regarding his time in Glasgow. The Parkhead club signed a young Van Dijk from FC Groningen in 2013 and he went on to become a huge hit in Scotland. 

(Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images)

He eventually left for Southampton, before becoming the world’s most expensive defender in a reported (BBC) £75 million move to Anfield in January 2018. 

But who was the best player he played with at Celtic? 


It seems Stefan Johansen collects the honour.

Johansen joined Celtic halfway through Van Dijk’s debut season in Paradise.

In his only full season playing alongside Van Dijk, Johansen had a stunning year with Celtic. The Norwegian scored 13 goals and assisted 10 as Celtic won the Scottish Premiership and League Cup. 

Undoubtedly he was in fine form for Celtic that season but the following campaign was less impactful and the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in 2016 appeared to push Johansen toward the exit. 

As Johansen told Get West London in 2017, Rodgers appeared to force him out of the club that summer amid a contract wrangle. Johansen eventually joined Fulham in a reported (The Scottish Sun) £2 million deal. 

“I didn’t sign a new contract in the summer, and didn’t play at Celtic. The manager at Celtic said it was obvious I needed to sort out a new club.”

Celtic went on to do fairly well without Johansen under Rodgers, so nobody can say his exit was a major blow. However, of all the players Van Dijk played alongside in Glasgow, Johansen is the one who left his mark. It just goes to show the talent the 29-year-old demonstrated at Celtic. 

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