The highly-rated Dutch Under-21 internationalist joined Celtic in the summer of 2013 on a four-year deal from FC Groningen where he had forged a reputation as one of the most promising defenders in the Eredivisie. A tall and commanding centre-back, van Dijk is comfortable on the ball but also relishes the physical contest and is comfortable getting forward.
On the books of Willem II as a youngster, he moved to Groningen as a teenager and was soon making inroads into the first-team.
He became regularly involved during the 2011/12 campaign and his impressive performances earned him international recognition for his country’s Under-21 side. Continuing to excel for Groningen, he started attracting interest from bigger clubs and Celtic won the race for his signature in June 2013.
Van Dijk was a stylish performer for Celtic throughout his first campaign, while he also chipped in with a few goals, most notably a solo effort against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, which saw him gather the ball on the halfway line and waltz through the opposition before scoring. Under Rony Deila van Dijk has forged an impressive partnership with Jason Denayer at the heart of the Celtic defence, with both defenders also winning plaudits for their scoring capabilities.
Against Inverness in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup, van Dijk scored a free-kick from distance at the national stadium. He repeated the feat just three days later at Dens Park when he got the second goal of the game to secure his tenth goal of the season.