Why Celtic must keep hold of Dedryck Boyata at all costs this season
According to a report from the Sun, Scottish champions Celtic are open to selling star defender Dedryck Boyata in the January transfer window.
The Belgian, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season and Celtic are looking to cash in on the defender when the transfer market reopens in January.
Dedryck Boyata wanted to leave Celtic Park in the summer transfer window and tried to force through an exit by downing his tools. However, Celtic refused to change their stance and the Belgian ended up staying at Parkhead.
Celtic appear to be hitting top form now after a wobbly start to the new Scottish Premiership season but the situation surrounding Boyata’s future rolls on. Signed from Manchester City back in 2015, the 27-year-old has become a mainstay in Celtic defence and even featured for Belgium in the World Cup earlier this summer in Russia.
It is an open secret that Boyata wanted to leave Celtic after returning from the World Cup. In fact, he returned to the team after Celtic refused to sell him to Fulham, who had made a bid of £9million for the defender in the summer.
That led to Boyata refusing to play for Brendan Rodgers’ side at the start of the season. But he has been in very good form since making a return against Hamilton in August. In Boyata’s absence, Celtic were struggling defensively as Brendan Rodgers was constantly failing to find his best centre-back pairing.
Jack Hendry has failed to make a mark since arriving last January, while Jozo Simunovic has spent most of this season on the treatment room. Marvin Compper, a January signing from RB Leipzig, has played just 83 minutes of competitive football for the Hoops until now and Kristoffer Ajer has been in and out of the team this season.
Celtic, meanwhile, did manage to bring Filip Benkovic on loan from Leicester City in the summer and the big Croat has truly succeeded in shoring up the Bhoys’ defence to some extent. Alongside Benkovic, Boyata has stabilised the Celtic defence that leaked goals for fun at the start of the season.
To put things into perspective, the prospect of losing Boyata midway through the season would be really terrible for Celtic. The Belgian has been a commanding presence at the back since returning to the team and cashing in on arguably the club’s best centre-back will not be the smartest move.
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Retaining Boyata’s services must be a priority if Celtic are to compete on all the fronts this season. In January, he’s free to speak to other clubs and can leave for free in the summer. But Celtic shouldn’t worry about it and should keep hold of the Belgian until the end of the season even if it means losing him for absolutely nothing.