“It would have been an easy time of it playing behind him.
“I’ve worked alongside some of the best Celtic centre-backs in guys such as Marc Rieper, Alan Stubbs and Johan Mjallby. They were some tremendous footballers and I would rank Virgil up there.
“I know that you would class him as a Dutch player who certainly likes to get the ball down and play.
“I’d certainly rate him as highly as some of the players I played alongside.”
“Selfishly, I hope he doesn’t because I want him to stay at Celtic for a number of years. He gives everything in every game and he has performed exceptionally well.
“That’s why he has come to the attention of sides like Arsenal. He has everything in his locker to go down there. He has pace, power and he can score goals.
“There have been a couple of blips along the way, of course. But he is just a young boy who is still learning. It takes experience to get all of these notches out of your system, but he will do that.
“If he does go, we just need to put our trust in the manager and the scouts that they can try and find someone either within the club or lined up elsewhere to fill the void.”