FORMER Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk is good enough to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, according to ex-Hoops boss Neil Lennon.
Van Dijk won back-to-back Premiership titles and the League Cup during his two years at Parkhead before joining Southampton in a £13million deal.
The Dutch ace has now become one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City linked with £70million bids during the summer transfer window.
When asked if Van Dijk can become the best defender in the world, Lennon replied: “Yes.
“I think he could play for Barcelona, I think he could play for Real Madrid. It wouldn’t surprise me if he took his career on to those pathways.
“The first day he came into Celtic I pulled him to one side after training and said: ‘You enjoy yourself here because you’re not going to be here long’.
“I couldn’t believe we got him for £1.9million. He was outstanding. I couldn’t believe that none of the big clubs took a bite at him before Southampton.
“I believe he could play at any club side in Europe now – he’s that good. He’s only 25, he’s got 10 years in him.
“He has got everything you want from a modern-day centre-half. He’s powerful, he’s quick, technically brilliant, he reads the game well, superb in the air.
“So it doesn’t surprise me that the big clubs are coming in now – it’s just surprising that they have waited so long.”