DEDRYCK BOYATA scored his first goal for Hertha Berlin and helped his new club keep a clean sheet as the Belgian begins to settle into life in Germany football. The central defender left Celtic in the summer on a free transfer after seeing out his four year contract. The 4-0 win over Cologne was the beginning of the long road back for the defender whose last appearance for Celtic was in the 2-1 victory over the Rangers at the end of March.
“I’m delighted to score my first goal for the club and as a defender, it’s equally as important for me that we kept a clean sheet.”I’ve put in a lot of work recently and I feel this is my reward.
‘But I am nowhere near playing at the top of my game – there’s still plenty more to come,” Boyata said to the media as reported by Scottish Sun.
“It was hard for me to arrive here and not be fit. I had to work harder than usual to earn my team mates’ respect.
“I’ve already experienced a lot on my career and I won a lot of titles and medals with Celtic of course. But this is a new challenge for me now.
Boyata of course choose to rundown his contract after deciding against signing a new deal after returning from a profile raising World Cup in Russia. Unbelievably Celtic turned down a bid from Fulham of around £9million for the Belgian who seemed to be caught in the cross fire of the behind the scenes tensions between then manager Brendan Rodgers and CEO Peter Lawwell.
With this in mind, Celtic have five players in the final year of their current contract and a further four that are due to end their loan in next summer. Whilst it is early, it is worthwhile considering who might remain at Celtic and who is likely to depart for pastures new.
Scotty Sinclair – hopefully the winger will be seen a lot more after cameos against Partick and Hibs. The 30 years old has an impressive goal tally at Celtic and should be in and around the first team. However, Jonny Hayes, Mo Elyounoussi and Mikey Johnston have been playing on the left ahead of him so far this season. Sinclair is at a disadvantage for being a high-earner as Peter Lawwell looks to shave the wage-bill so it could spell the end for Sinclair at Celtic. Prediction – Gone at end of season.
Nir Bitton – Bitton has been an important utility player for Celtic playing at the back or in the middle, he has constantly been relied upon to fill in due to injuries or lack of investment. The Israeli should be expecting another deal from Neil Lennon, the manager that signed him during his first spell as manager. Bitton provides cover across those positions but is also happy to be a squad player. Prediction – new deal.
Craig Gordon – former number one that has done well for Celtic, who have given him the chance to play at a high level following some brutal injuries. Gordon has impressed but as challenges for his jersey this season from Fraser Forster and Scott Bain, it could see the ex-Hearts man move on to find first team football in the twilight of his career. Gordon could yet stay as a back up; however with his intentions to play due to those missed years it is likely he will go. Prediction – gone at end of the season, or maybe even January.
Jonny Hayes – a cult figure amongst the support and a utility player on the left side, Jonny Hayes will be hopefully for a new deal. He’s genuinely happy to be part of the squad and is prepared to play wherever and whenever called upon and Neil Lennon is likely to fancy keeping this model professional around for a couple of seasons more. That Beautiful Sunday goal at Ibrox will always be a favourite Celtic memory for the Irishman. Prediction – he”ll stay.
Calvin Miller – A left winger? A striker? A midfielder? Calvin Miller has played them all; however, he has failed to really excel in any position enough to get into the first team. Unfortunately, Miller has injured himself and will probably see his Celtic deal run down before leaving in the summer.
We also have four loanees, who will be leaving the club this summer – but hopefully some are still here next season.
Fraser Forster – solid in goals, knows the club and wants to stay. Hopefully we can get it done. Just down to the money and how Southampton feel about cutting their losses. The big man will need make some sacrifices financially if he wants to play for Celtic long-term. Prediction – he”ll stay.
Moritz Bauer – an option to buy in his contract means that Celtic hold all the cards. He can impress and hopefully win a deal with the Scottish Champions, anything less and he will return to Stoke City, a fate you wouldn’t wish on anyone, okay, maybe Charlie Adam. Prediction – will do enough to earn a deal at Celtic.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – The former £16m man will no doubt be rueing the decision to go to Southampton but has a chance to highlight his worth whilst at Celtic. He’s impressed so far in training but has looked a little rusty in the first team but has a great pedigree and should come good. Prediction – he’ll be here for the season then head back to the South coast.
Daniel Arzani – apart from a cameo at Dundee, we haven’t seen much of the wonder-kid that is Daniel Arzani, it was a weird transfer at the time of Rodgers v Lawwell and the fact it took him until Halloween to get into the squad says it all. Prediction -Don’t Look Back in Anger but will go back to Man City.
What do you think? Join in the conversation on Celtic Noise, the fans forum where all Celtic Supporters are welcome.
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