Jeremie Frimpong wants to follow the Virgil van Dijk blue print to success.
Just over four years ago the Dutchman moved from Celtic to Southampton with questions being asked by the ill-informed over whether he was value for £12m.
After a year in the EPL van Dijk was rated at £40m, when he eventually left for Liverpool in January 2018 it was for a world record fee of £75m for a defender.
The sell-on clause came in handy for Celtic as they published their first ever turnover in excess of £100m. More importantly the career path was noted by a kid in Manchester looking for a route to match his ambitions.
Frimpong has made the same instant impression as van Dijk with one young Dutchman looking to follow in the footsteps of the current captain of his national side.
The Daily Mail reports:
“I want to be the best player there is,’ he says as if discussing the weather. ‘I want to play for the biggest team ever. I want to win the Champions League. I want to hold the World Cup. I want to win as many trophies as I can.”
On the internet and the pages of the newspapers, images of Lionel Messi, Ballon D’Or winner for a record sixth time, are everywhere. Yet Celtic’s new sensation is more interested in the runner-up pictured sitting by the great man’s side.
“Look at Virgil Van Dijk,” he adds, “there’s the example. Played for Celtic; four years later he nearly wins the Ballon D’Or at Liverpool. He was so close.
“So can I be the best player there is? Yeah, I think I can be. Celtic can help me with that. The history here is crazy. They are so good – one of the biggest teams there is.
“So I hope I can be the best here. But that only comes with hard work and commitment and that’s what I’m going to produce to make it happen.”
Tomorrow, after less than 10 senior matches Frimpong is looking to land his first major medal in the game, with Champions League winner van Dijk in mind the young Celt has plenty more goals and ambitions to achieve.