Celtic must hold onto Dedryck Boyata at all costs
The Belgian international wanted to leave the club in the summer transfer window and tried to force through an exit by refusing to play for Brendan Rodgers’ side. However, the club refused to back down from their stance and Boyata ended up staying at Celtic Park.
But, given that he is in the final year of his contract, the Hoops are considering cashing in on the defender in the January window rather than losing him for nothing at the end of the season. (h/t The Sun)
It hasn’t been the most convincing starts to the season for Celtic as they dropped down to the UEFA Europa League after failing to qualify to the group stages of the Champions League. Meanwhile, they find themselves off the pace in their title defence of the Scottish Premiership as well.
Injuries and a poor summer transfer window have played a huge role in Celtic’s difficult start to the campaign. It was clear from last season that the reigning Scottish champions needed significant strengthening in the defensive positions.
Jozo Simunovic has been struggling to get in a regular run of games with injuries hampering him while Jack Hendry has failed to make a mark since arriving last January. Marvin Compper, another arrival during the winter window, has spent more time on the treatment table than on the field. And with Boyata also kicking up a storm, Celtic needed to boost their options in defence but only Filip Benkovic arrived on loan from Leicester City.
Given the delicate position they find themselves in at the moment, losing someone as pivotal as Boyata midway through the campaign could prove to be disastrous.
The 27-year-old has been on the club’s books since 2015, having joined from Manchester City and has racked up 115 appearances, scoring 15 goals and setting up 7 more. The Belgium international was instrumental in the back-to-back domestic treble success for Rodgers’ side in the past couple of seasons.
Despite causing some issues in his attempt to force an exit in the summer, Boyata has reintegrated himself into the team well. In fact, he has made 12 appearances for the Bhoys, chipping in with a goal and an assist this term.
At a time when they are struggling with injuries and also in other areas across the pitch, losing someone like Boyata -who has the experience and the know-how – will not be the smartest move.
Yes, the club face the risk of losing him for nothing in the summer. However, without him, they run the risk of failing to get back to the top in the Premiership, which would be a much bitter blow. And as a result, Celtic must hold on to Boyata until the end of the season even if it means losing him on a free transfer.