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History books say Celtic star is a must-buy for Everton

| 28.07.2015

In the aftermath of his side’s 3-1 victory over Hearts, Everton boss Roberto Martinez revealed he remains on the lookout for centre-back reinforcements.

Having seen Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz leave the club and the threat of Chelsea target John Stones following them increasing by the day, the Toffees are light in the rearguard department, with Phil Jagielka the only man seemingly certain to stay at Goodison Park at present.

One of the names featuring prominently in Martinez’s blueprint to address the matter is Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk, a man whom the gossip peddlers are rapidly running out of new Premier League clubs to link with.

It’ll reportedly cost Everton £10m to lure the Dutchman away from Parkhead, a sum worth paying based on the success savoured by Scottish-based players imported into the blue half of Merseyside, as well as that of Neil Lennon Celtic buys to flourish when shipped south of the border.

Almost all of the former Bhoys stars recruited by the current Bolton boss have done the business in the Premier League.

Gary Hooper provides an anomalous example as to how Lennon’s old flames don’t always cut Colman’s finest in the English top-tier, but his strike rate remains envious.

Celtic made a whopping £19.6m combined profit selling Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster to Southampton, though the Saints won’t begrudge the outlay after seeing both establish themselves as first-team staples.

Elsewhere, Joe Ledley, signed from Cardiff on a free, made the Old Firm outfit £2.5m profit when he was sold to Crystal Palace, who have benefitted from his versatility in midfield.

There are plenty of former Scottish Premiership performers to shine in Everton colours too.

Steven Naismith is the latest case study, proving a reliable source of midfield goals across his three-year Toffees tenure.

The Scotland international has plenty of predecessors across the Premier League era, with James McFadden, Alan Stubbs, David Weir and, of course, Duncan Ferguson all making over 100 Everton appearances in England’s top tier after being imported directly from the Scottish equivalent.

Judging from the records of his descendents, the Toffees aim to land a 3/1-rated top-six finish will be made far easier through the signing of Van Dijk.

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James Middleton