Virgil van Dijk has warned Arsenal target Kieran Tierney it will be tough to make the step up to the Premier League, but the Liverpool star is confident his former team-mate has what it takes to be a success.
Celtic left-back Tierney has been heavily linked with a move to the Gunners as Unai Emery looks to improve his defence ahead of the new season.
Although Arsenal are yet to reach an agreement with Celtic after having two bids rejected, it has been reported that the north London club remain hopeful of adding the Scotland international to their squad.
And Van Dijk, who played with Tierney at Celtic Park before making a successful switch across the border in 2015, believes his former team-mate has the ability to rise to the demands of the Premier League.
“It is not an easy step to make and you have to play well to do it. But he has the qualities,” said the Dutch international, whose standout displays for Liverpool saw him crowned PFA Player of the Year last season.
“Kieran made his debut against Dundee when I was at Celtic. I scored a free-kick up there and then he came on and helped us get the win.”
Van Dijk returned to Scotland for the first time since 2017 when his Liverpool side faced Napoli on Sunday in a pre-season friendly at a sold-out Murrayfield.
It wasn’t to be a happy return for the 28-year-old as Jurgen Klopp’s men suffered their third loss of pre-season with a 3-0 defeat.
Despite the result, Van Dijk said he still enjoyed the experience of playing in Scotland once again.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” he added. “It is always great to be back in Scotland.
“The last time I was here it was with my national team when we played Scotland at Pittodrie.
“It has been a while. It has always been good to play here.”