Former Rangers bad boy Bilel Mohsni has been compared to VIRGIL VAN DIJK after sealing a return to British football. 

Mohsni, 33, has penned a one-year deal with Grimsby Town and their colourful manager Ian Holloway reckons he can be the Mariners’ answer to the imperious Liverpool defender. The hot-headed stopper joined the Gers in the summer of 2013 and immediately helped the Glasgow giants win the League One title. 

However, Mohsni’s time at Ibrox ended under a cloud when he PUNCHED Motherwell striker Lee Erwin during their Championship playoff final defeat in 2015. He returned to French football with Amiens before a brief stint with Dundee United at the tail end of the 2017/18 season - as he again fell at the promotion playoff stage in the second tier. 

However, Holloway has the loftiest of praise for his new capture. He lauded: “He is my leader, he's my Virgil van Dijk. He can play anywhere, to be honest with you.  He's a wonderful man and I've known him for a very very long time. He’s a little bit fiery I must admit - but I've forgiven him and I want him here to help us with our young lads. 

“I'm absolutely delighted he's decided to join me. He had other choices but because we were so close last year, he's decided he wanted to come back to me.”

The Tunisia internationalist, who was most recently plying his trade in France following a spell in Greece with Panachaiki, was on trial with Grimsby earlier this year but saw the Covid-19 outbreak put paid to a deal. So Holloway wasted no time in securing his services ahead of the new League Two campaign starting in September.

And Mohsni said: “We [Mohsni and Holloway] have kept in touch, always texting each other, he is such a good man. I like him as a man, not just as a manager. This virus was dangerous for all of us and it was great to keep in touch with him, always asking me how are my family, how am I keeping and things like that. 

“Then he told me that when the team returns to training, he wants me to come back. He called me last week asking if I was ready and to come down on Sunday. I didn't even have to think, I came and I am happy to be back.”