How the Hoops could look if they kept Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and their other best players

0
12


While Celtic are well equipped to win yet another Scottish Premiership title, the question that could be asked is just how good could their side have been?

The Hoops’ squad has always been blessed with a number of top class players in years gone by, such as Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama, who have gone on to enjoy varying degrees of success elsewhere.

Ahead of their Old Firm clash with Rangers this Sunday, talkSPORT.com takes a look at how Celtic could have looked if they kept their star names.


Fraser Forster (Goalkeeper)

Before sealing a £10m move to Southampton in 2014, Forster made 197 appearances for Celtic, who came of age as a goalkeeper during his time in Scotland.

Foster was an excellent goalkeeper at Celtic

Foster was an excellent goalkeeper at Celtic

The 6ft 7in Foster enjoyed a number of memorable moments during his time with the club, including a record-breaking 13 clean sheets, while there was the outstanding Champions League performances against Barcelona, which earned him praise from Lionel Messi.


Mikael Lustig (Defender)

Like former right-back and fellow countryman Johan Mjallby, Lustig has done the position justice and while he has not left the club, it would make for interesting viewing to see him perform in this side, especially with the calibre of talent next to him.

Lustig is a commanding right-back

Lustig is a commanding right-back

Virgil van Dijk (Defender)

Widely considered the best defender in the world at present, Van Dijk has been a colossus at the back for both Liverpool and the Netherlands. He spent two seasons with Celtic and his powerful, commanding displays caught the eye of Southampton, who he joined for £13m in 2015 before landing a £75m move to Anfield in 2018.

Van Dijk is now among the world’s best defenders

Van Dijk is now among the world’s best defenders

Celtic fans must wonder how different things could be in Europe had the world’s most expensive player still been in their team.


Kieran Tierney (Defender)

Had Celtic been able to see into the future, it is unlikely they would have released Scotland captain Andrew Robertson at the age 15. However, the club another talented left-back in Tierney, who has played a major role in Celtic’s historical ‘double treble’ in 2018 and won both the Players and Writers’ Young Player awards for the third successive season.

Tierney is crucial to Celtic at only 21

Tierney is crucial to Celtic at only 21

Stuart Armstorng (Midfield)

The Inverness-born midfielder, who grew up idolising Gianfranco Zola, spent four years with the Hoops and won the league title in every single one of them.

He was also named in the team of the year three times, before moving to, you guessed it… Southampton. The Premier League club paid around £7m for the Scotland international in 2018.

Stuart Armstrong was a key Celtic performer but was sold to Southampton in 2018

Stuart Armstrong was a key Celtic performer but was sold to Southampton in 2018

Victor Wanyama (Midfield)

A third player sold to Southampton, the imposing Kenyan starred at the heart of Celtic’s midfield for two seasons, despite making his debut in defence. His first goal for the club was a 25-yard strike against Hearts, while he memorably netted a header in a 2-1 win over Barcelona. The 27-year-old joined the Saints in 2013 and moved to Tottenham for £11m three years later where he is still playing.

Wanyama starred in midfield for Celtic

Wanyama starred in midfield for Celtic

Ki Sung-Yueng (Midfield)

The South Korean star showed himself to be a skilful player, with excellent technique and composure. A memorable 35-yard wonder strike in the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell, helped him win his first piece of silverware with the side. He eventually moved on to Swansea in 2012.

The South Korean was a technically astute player

The South Korean was a technically astute player

Joe Ledley (Midfield)

Alongside Wanyama in the heart of a powerful midfield, the Welshman certainly made Celtic a formidable force, especially on an away night in the Europa League. Ledley captained Celtic on several occasions in the absence of Scott Brown before Crystal Palace secured his services in 2014.

Ledley in action against Barcelona in 2013

Ledley in action against Barcelona in 2013

Aiden McGeady (Midfield)

The former Ireland international enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with Celtic and was one of their most exciting players to emerge from the academy in recent years. Many say he was at his peak before he moved to Spartak Moscow in 2010. Three seasons earlier, McGeady contributed eight goals and 24 assists, to win both the SPFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. The 32-year-old is currently playing for Sunderland.

McGeady was one of the stand-out players at Celtic

McGeady was one of the stand-out players at Celtic

Moussa Dembele (Striker)

His spell with Celtic was brief, but it sure was exciting. After moving from Fulham in 2016, Dembele ended his debut season with the treble and 32 goals in all competitions. Chelsea were rumoured to be interested, but he remained at the club, despite failing to recapture his initial form. Two seasons later, the striker joined Lyon.

Dembele had a magnificent debut season

Dembele had a magnificent debut season

Gary Hooper (Striker)

‘Super Hooper’ as he was affectionately known, certainly knew where the goal was in three seasons in Glasgow between 2010 and 2013. He scored 82 goals in 138 appearances in all competitions, before moving to Norwich, where he struggled, but the 31-year-old striker has returned to scoring form with Sheffield Wednesday.

Hooper was prolific at Celtic

Hooper was prolific at Celtic

 



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here