Rangers legend Arthur Numan has told Celtic star Virgil van Dijk that it would be best for his career if he makes a move to the Premier League when the opportunity arises, with north London club Arsenal sniffing around for his signature, as reported by the Daily Star.
Arsenal are monitoring the central defender’s availability, with interest on their side in making a move for him in January. They may, however, face competition from Sunderland.
The 23 year old defender ended up staying in Scotland during the summer window, but Arsenal did make a deadline day enquiry for the player, although it was too close to the closure of the window for a deal to be worked out.
His fellow countryman Numan, who earned 45 caps for the Netherlands during his career, believes that in order for Van Dijk to impose himself on the Dutch national side, he has to leave Scotland, with England a great place to get the necessary exposure.
Numan said: “If he gets the chance Virgil should go to England in January or at the end of the season. Over the last two seasons he has proved he is too good for Scottish football.
“If you are linked with some clubs in England it’s natural you are going to want to move away because you have Celtic in the top league here and who else?
“When a player comes to Scotland you spend a year or two trying to impress.
“But when you’re there four years and play Ross County seven times a season it can be hard to motivate yourself. You can stay too long.
“Maybe Virgil will think now he needs another step in his career. Going to England to play in one of the best clubs in Europe may be better for himself and for the national team.
“If the Dutch coach comes over to see him play against Ross County he will wonder how Virgil would do against top international players. It’s hard to judge him when he is playing against strikers from a smaller team.
“I think that was the reason he was never in Louis van Gaal’s squad for the World Cup. He plays in
Scotland while the other Dutch players are in big competitions and that is probably why he was never chosen.
“So in many ways he still has to prove himself. I always felt he was using Scotland as a stepping stone.
“But he is good enough to play in England right now. However, Virgil has to stay focused with Celtic to make sure clubs in England show interest.”