Arsenal January target Virgil van Dijk has sounded out Arsene Wenger to come and get him, declaring an affection towards our “amazing club”.
The 23 year old Dutchman had been narrowly missed by Wenger in the summer having begun negotiations late on deadline day, but there’ve been rumours linking us with the Celtic defender in January. Van Dijk has now dropped a huge come-and-get-me hint to Wenger to come for him once again.
Wenger has stated his readiness to undertake a serious search for a defender to strengthen the back four and with most clubs holding tightly to their priced assets, it must come as a giveaway to us that Van Dijk is offering to come.
In an interview with recently, Van Dijk said:
“Arsenal are an amazing club”
“It’s a big club with a great history. I’m happy here [Celtic] just now and I want to play well and we’ll see what happens in the future”
“Untill there are bids I can’t say anything. There is no rush to leave but you never know in the future”
The above statements are clearly not a commitment of his future to Celtic and though he may not have expressly stated his desire to play for the Gunners, do we really need a soothsayer to interpret the undertone of his message? He’s going to use November and December to “play well” while looking on to January for bids that will determine his future.
At 6ft 4, Van Dijk possesses the physical gifts of a commanding defensive figure, giving us the much needed physical presence we seem to lack in defence. He has an admirable use of his body, being able to follow the drift of even the most nifty attackers. Though yet to win to make his debut with the Oranje, the 23-year old product of Groningen still has a lot of football in him to establish him as one of the strongest defenders of his generation. Unlike his fellow Dutchman, Ron Vlaar, who’s continued to be linked with us, Van Dijk still has the potential to improve important aspects of his game being only 23, while being more likely to play to instruction and in collaboration to his older teammates.
Celtic may look to our desperation for a defender and seek to use this means to do a milking on us. Recent reports place van Dijk’s market worth within the range of £15m. It would become the second highest fee Wenger would have to pay for a defender, the highest for a foreign one, and there may be fears of reluctance to splash such amounts on a young defender. There may be other considerations regarding other available defenders in the market, especially West Ham’s Winston Reid who may come at about same fee (or less) with a significant dose of Premier League experience.
That cannot and should not mount any opposition.
With the Netherlands, Van Dijk has the potential to excel in International football over the coming years, rivaling the likes of Stefan De Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi in the Dutch team, and considering it hasn’t exactly worked against us having dutch talents, van Dijk could prove as crucial as the non-flying one that served us well for 11 years.
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