DEDRYCK BOYATA starred in the Betfred Cup Final win over Aberdeen on Sunday and played a significant part in the 29 pass move that led to the only goal of the match. His killer ball to set up Ryan Christie took out just about every Aberdeen player and left the Celtic goalscorer with only Joe Lewis to get the ball past. That took a few efforts but it was well worth the perseverance for the Highlander.
Yesterday Brendan Rodgers, who is waiting to see if his Belgium World Cup defender will be available for the important match at Fir Park tomorrow night – which looks like a must win game, considered the impact that the former Manchester City defender has had on the Celtic side this term, since his dramatic early season episode after his return from the World Cup.
“I was very proud of Dedryck,” Brendan said. “It was a tough summer for him in every way, but it is really satisfying to see how he has got over that, and how he has performed.
“Since he had that episode he has been absolutely brilliant for us. That partnership with Benkovic has been very good. Boyata gives everything to the cause and he is super professional.
“He has played a lot of games now for the No.1 ranked team in international football, Belgium. That really shows where has come from to where he is at. It is a big credit to him.
“Boyata is in the last year of his deal, but I am quite relaxed on it. He has to look at every option possible. He has created a market for himself now because of how he has performed, which is great for him.
“Careers are short. There has been no lack of commitment from Boyata since last summer as you have seen. But as a professional player he has every right to wait and see what happens.
“I can assure everyone that doesn’t take away from his commitment to what we’re doing here. The next contract may be the last big one of his career as he is 28 now, and he just has to make sure it’s the right one.
“I am relaxed with it because there has been no drop off in mentality. There has never been with him. He has been absolutely first class for me. We will just assess the situation as time goes on.
“We know at some point we will lose some of these players. But at the minute we know where it’s at.”
Celtic will have to decide whether to cash in on the World Cup defender in January or see him walk away for free in May, if the offer he has from Celtic is not his preference.
And if Boyata’s time as a Celtic player is likely to be coming to a close in the weeks or months ahead then there is activity regarding a new arrival, who will hopefully be in ahead of the trip to Dubai for the Celtic winter training camp. Brendan travelled to meet the player he’s after shortly after the Cup Final and is hopeful that a deal will be done.
“Every manager will tell you that you want to do deals done early if you can,” Brendan said.
“Ideally, you want to take players away to your mid-season training camp, bed them in and do some good work with them, and get some feel for mentality.
“That is ideally what you want to do. So we will see.”
Also on The Celtic Star today…
Jim Craig – 55,372 see Celtic beat Rangers in Cup Final…See HERE.