Celtic vs Rangers: How the Hoops would have looked if they kept Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and other top stars

28 Mar

While Celtic are on course 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How they would line up

Fantasy Premier League tips: Transfer advice including Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City stars

21 Dec

The festive fun starts here and you need to make your Fantasy Premier League transfers before 6:45pm tonight.

This is the first of around 40 games in 12 days so it’s vital you get your squad into tip-top condition.

Will you sign or sell these stars?

Now more than ever you need to keep abreast of the latest information and we’re here to help.

Whether you’re a manager who reacts to in-form players, loves a bargain, or one who looks to predict the next big FPL thing, you need a bit of advice every now and again.

So who do you need to sell and sign this week? Here at talkSPORT.com we’ve taken a good look at the form and fixtures and believe we’ve got the best transfer tips around…

Out: David Silva (Manchester City) – £8.5m

The Spanish midfielder is set to be out for a few weeks more so over a festive period he’s set to be a real dud you keep him in your squad.

In: Leroy Sane (Manchester City) – £9.7m

A little pricier than Silva, and with added risk thanks to Pep Guardiola’s penchant for making unexpected changes, but Sane is undoubtedly in-form with three goals and three assists in five matches.

Out: Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – £6.2m

Those familiar with NFL fantasy football will be familiar with the idea of ‘streaming’ players and we would recommend this with your cheap option strikers right now. Neither Jimenez, Aleksandar Mitrovic, or Danny Ings are reliable but they are competent so pick them for favourable matches. Tonight sees Jimenez play Liverpool so we advise against playing him.

In: Danny Ings (Southampton) – £5.5m

Back for the Saints, the loanee got two goals against Arsenal and now has games against Huddersfield and West Ham coming up making him your No. 1 option.

Out: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – £5.5m

After an injury against Southampton, the Spanish full-back is out for ‘some weeks’ which is a blow for the Gunners and FPL bosses.

In: Lucas Digne (Everton) – £5.0m

In his last two games, the former Barcelona man has scored one and assisted one. Not only that he’s currently averaging one shot and two key passes per game meaning he’s set to be a threat once more against Tottenham before a run of favourable fixtures.

Out: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – £5.2m

Set to be out for one more game at least, you’re more likely to be able to pick him up again towards the New Year as he returns to full health.

In: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) – £5.4m

Back from injury, the Spanish ace could be vital across the festive season and as shown against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup, he’s lost none of his attacking nous.

Out: James Maddison (Leicester City) – £6.8m

Games against Chelsea and Manchester City mean you’ll have to have huge faith in the English youngster to keep him in your side. After the City game he should be fine to reintroduce to your team.

In: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) – £5.1m

He hasn’t got a goal or an assist in his last three games but he’s looking mighty dangerous. Against Arsenal he hit three shots on goal and made three key passes. He almost netted against Tottenham Hotspur too in a decent showing so our spidey senses are tingling.