Celtic: Hesselink tips Guidetti to shine at club
JAN Vennegoor of Hesselink has endorsed John Guidetti’s credentials for achieving success at Celtic and satisfying the club’s supporters.
The Dutch striker, whose header delivered the Scottish Premier League title to Celtic in 2008, believes that if Guidetti can recapture the form he showed with Feyenoord, then both those boxes will be ticked.
Vennegoor of Hesselink witnessed the Swedish striker’s impact on the Eredivisie when his own return home to wind down his career at PSV Eindhoven in 2011-12 coincided with Guidetti’s 20 goals in 23 games for Feyenoord.
“I was still playing in Holland when John was at Feyenoord and he was the biggest thing in the country that year,” said Vennegoor of Hesselink, who was back at Celtic Park last Sunday to play in a charity match for Paul McStay’s side of former Celtic players against Rio Ferdinand’s select
“He was oustanding for Feyenoord. That is a club for the fans, and John played for them. He gave them a lot and they still talk about Guidetti in Rotterdam. When he first went there, the club was on a downwards spiral. He took it by the hand a little bit.
“Ronald Koeman was the coach and Guidetti was a little eccentric, but always up for the fight. When I heard Celtic were in for him and that there were problems with the paperwork, I felt it would be a big shame but now he’s signed.
“If John can bring the same as he did at Feyenoord he will be a great signing. John can run at defenders, he go in behind the defence and he is enthusiastic. He creates a buzz around the place and is a guy who can be a bit crazy in a good way.
“At a young age, he was a real leader for Feyenoord. They finished second that year to get into the Champions League. He then got a bad viral infection and I didn’t hear about him for a long time.
“John will hopefully bring personality to Celtic. If he can do what he did for Feyenoord, he will be a great signing for the club. He is 22. If he can stay fit, he will be a big, big asset to Celtic. John is a character and sometimes you need players who can take a hit for the team – who can take the pressure off the rest of the players.”
Vennegoor of Hesselink cost Celtic £3.4 million in 2006 and left in 2009 for Hull City, but the 35-year-old has told Virgil van Dijk to respond positively to Celtic telling the defender last week that he could not move to England.
“I read about Virgil’s situation but he now just needs to get his head down and play a lot of games,” said Vennegoor of Hesselink.
“There is a lot interest in him and I don’t know what the agreement is between the club and him.
“Virgil is big and strong and has a bit of Dutch pride in him. I like that in a player.”