Moussa, Dedryck and that Summer of Discontent at Celtic

MOUSSA DEMBELE didn’t have to come back to Paradise yesterday but the fact he was there – as was departing central defender Dedryck Boyata – says more about these two players and can be contrast sharply with the no-show of our former manager who didn’t show his face.

Dembele was painted as the villain when he forced a move at the end of August, you will recall the series of cryptic late night social media posts that he made directly at Rodgers and that meant that the player was sold to Lyon pretty much the next day.

Peter Lawwell took the £20million and said merci beau coup. That is cash, presumably that the next manager will have to invest in the team.

“Such a great feeling to be back at Celtic Park today!” Moussa posted on social media.

“I didn’t get the chance to properly say goodbye when I left but today it was a sweet welcome home.”

“Thanks for your love, you guys make this place so special to me.”

And judging from the reaction to Moussa’s tweet, The Celtic Supporters have now put aside any differences that they had with him and have identified the real culprit in the disagreements from last summer.

It probably isn’t as simple as all that but what was always clear was that Moussa Dembele was a nice guy, very laid back and chilled before the events in the few days before his transfer to Lyon and he has remained that way ever since. So something had happened to infuriate him and it was something to do with Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic are on the verge of a Treble Treble, yesterday was a wonderful day, but we were still feeling the aftershocks of that Summer of Discontent that cost us a place in the Champions League, allowed John McGinn – now Aston Villa’s Player of the Year and on the verge of winning a spot in the Premier League with a transfer worth maybe ten times what Villa paid Hibs last August, and meant that Celtic rejected an offer of around £10million from Fulham for Dedryck Boyata.

Yesterday Dedryck was there at Celtic Park – his season ended when he pulled his hamstring in the win against the Rangers at the end of March – to collect his medals and say his goodbyes.

It was announced by Hertha Berlin in the hours before the game that they would indeed be signing the Belgium World Cup Star when his contract expires at Celtic. They don’t have a fee to pay for the player and have agreed a £40k a week wage packet.

Boyata complained in this interview about being made out to be the mean guy, or the bad guy but stated that he was prepared to stay had Celtic given him what he wanted but that offer never came.

Celtic did make him an offer before he went to the World Cup but the Belgian and his agent choose to keep that on the table to see how things panned out at the tournament in Russia. Unfortunately for Celtic, things went very well for the player who played in all three group stage wins before Vincent Company was fit enough to return to the side.

Celtic weren’t prepared to pay Boyata what he could get elsewhere so he left. That’s all there is to it. The mistake Celtic made was last summer in the Rodgers v Lawwell dispute that has ended up costing us maybe as much as £40million (lost Champions League money, lost Boyata fee, and lost subsequent worth of having signed McGinn).

The £20million from the Dembele transfer and the £9million compensation Leicester paid for taking our management team at the end of February maybe balances the books on this but it could have all been handled so much better.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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