Arsenal are reportedly preparing a January move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk after failing with a late move on deadline day, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The 23 year old, who signed for Celtic last summer, has been impressive for the Scottish champions and even though he was left out of the World Cup squad, his performances have earned him a call up to the national squad under Guus Hiddink for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The report states that Arsenal made a deadline day enquiry for the Holland international but their move for the centre-half came too late. It further states that the Gunners are still interested in the defender despite their failure to land him this summer and will have scouts keeping track of his progress with a view to a move during the January transfer window.
Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has recently sung praises of the youngster and believes that his time to move to a bigger club will surely arrive soon. He said:
He is cool, calm and collected in defence. Virgil always appears relaxed and it looks as if there is another gear in there.
His time for moving will definitely come at some point but look, he’s in the Holland squad this week while playing for Celtic, so it can’t be too bad for him.
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Van Dijk is strong and athletic, but has made his name because of his goal scoring ability from defence. He has a dangerous long range shot, is dominant in the air as a result of his 6 ft 4 in frame and is always a threat to get on the score sheet. He’s also proven himself to be technically proficient, with good technique, dribbling and passing – all of which would make him a good fit for Arsenal’s defence.
The youngster made 36 league appearances and scored five goals as Celtic ran away with the title and averaged ten defensive actions per game in the Champions League last season, more than any other Celtic player. He has won an astonishing 80% of his tackles and 68% headers in the Champions League this season.
Should we Buy?
Wenger could have strengthened the defence to a greater extent this summer, despite solving some depth issues with the acquisitions of Debuchy and Chambers. However, Vermaelen’s move to Barcelona leaves the central ranks looking somewhat undermanned, but Van Dijk fits the bill as an affordable-yet-effective prospect.
If Koscielny, Mertesacker and Chambers remain fit then the Gunners should be fine until the transfer window opens again in January. Van Dijk is great in attack and although it’s not the portion of his talents Wenger requires most, it’s still a boon to know that one’s defenders do possess an eye in attack. He will cost us around £15 million which is a little high, but he is well worth it.
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.