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Sunday 4 December 2016

Southampton complete the signing of defender Virgil van Dijk from Celtic

Published 01/09/2015 | 14:49

New Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk won two Scottish Premiership titles during his time at Celtic
New Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk won two Scottish Premiership titles during his time at Celtic

Southampton have completed the signing of defender Virgil van Dijk from Celtic.

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The 24-year-old former Holland Under-21 international has signed a five-year contract with Saints after a successful two years in Scotland.

A long-term target of Southampton, Van Dijk will now compete with the likes of Jose Fonte, Maya Yoshida and fellow summer recruit Steven Caulker for a place in Ronald Koeman's defence.

Van Dijk, who moved to Celtic Park from Groningen in 2013, said the "unbelievable" opportunity to play in the Premier League was something he could not refuse.

"I'm delighted. It was a very easy decision to join this club," he told Southampton's official website.

"This is a very ambitious club, who have been doing very well in the last couple of years. It's a great place to be and it's the right step for me.

"For me now to get the opportunity to play in the Premier League is unbelievable and I will enjoy it. I know it's an ambitious club - they have been through a lot throughout the years. They are trying to play football and that's something that really attracted me.

"I'm so excited. I hope to settle in really quick, get everything around football sorted, start playing and enjoying it because the most important thing in football is to have fun and enjoy every day."

The Dutchman becomes Koeman's eighth summer signing following the arrivals of Juani, Cedric Soares, Cuco Martina, Jordy Clasie, Oriol Romeu and Harry Lewis and the loan moves for Maarten Stekelenburg and Caulker.

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