Celtic FC Opinion: Would Semi Ajayi be a good replacement for Boyata?
According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata is among those on the wish-list of Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Belgian defender joined Celtic from Manchester City in the summer of 2015 and he helped the club win the double treble last season. But Boyata’s current contract with the Hoops expires in the summer and as things stand, his future at the Parkhead remains very much unclear.
It will be in Celtic’s best interest to keep hold of the 28-year-old, considering how much it will cost to replace a player of his quality and experience. As for Boyata, Leicester City will be a massive step up from Celtic so it should be an enticing new challenge for the player.
Thus, Celtic have to start planning for life after Boyata as the Belgian looks set to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season. That said, the Scottish champions should target Rotherham United defender Semi Ajayi.
Semi Ajayi, 25, has been one of the few bright sparks for Rotherham in what has been a disappointing campaign in the Championship. He hasn’t missed a single game for Rotherham so far, scoring seven goals, which is a brilliant return for a defender.
The Nigerian international is a centre-back by trade but has been used more as a defensive midfielder by Rotherham boss Paul Warne since September 2018.
So Ajayi’s versatility adds more value to his name as he could be used as a midfield destroyer when required. He has shown his character and held his own in an underwhelming Rotherham side which shows just what quality and belief in his own ability he has.
What makes him perfect for Neil Lennon’s Celtic is the fact that despite Ajayi’s lack of creativity, the 25-year-old’s ability to pick out a pass is still incredible. He is a rock at the back capable of dominating forwards with his brute strength and power, whilst being comfortable on the ball.
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The Nigerian is an excellent tackler in one-on-one situations and is also a good reader of the game.
There is always the talk of spending money on people who can put the ball in the back of the net but equally, it is important to keep the ball out too. Ajayi gives that reliability and Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to spend on him to replace the potentially outgoing Boyata.