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Virgil van Dijk: I have learned more in five games at Southampton than I did in years at Celtic

Southampton new boy Virgil van Dijk has made an impression since joining the Premier League fold

Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Southampton summer signing Virgil van Dijk has claimed he has already learned more during his short tenure in the Saints defence compared to his time at Celtic.

The 24-year-old Dutch defender has impressed in his five games for Ronald Koeman's side, standing out in Saturday's triumph away at Chelsea in particular after netting the opener for the Saints against Swansea City the week previous.

Saints have made a habit of signing Celtic's best players over the last three years with Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster joining from the Scottish champions. There are always doubts if a good player at SPL level can make it in the English Premier League. But, those three signings have all impressed since making the transition.<!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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Liverpool have earned the ire of many Saints fans after they had plundered the South Coast for its best talent in the last two summers, so I wouldn't blame Celtic fans if they thought similarly about Southampton. If not, then van Dijk's comments are unlikely to appease the Parkhead faithful.

Speaking to the Dutch media ahead of his national team's Euro 2016 qualifiers, the towering centre half said: "At Southampton, I am learning so much in every game. Much more than in recent years at Celtic.

"My transfer to Southampton was finally completed and I have already played five games in a row for the club. It was difficult at first, but I am now getting better. I am learning a lot: the game is so much faster in England and sometimes the ball moves as if it's in a pinball machine!"

While I can't say I enjoy players taking potshots at their former clubs nor leagues, I hope Virgil can continue his upward developmental trajectory and become a Southampton stalwart at the heart of our defence.