DEDRYK BOYATA will represent his country at the World Cup this month, while some seen this as slightly inevitable in recent weeks we want to cast your minds back to January 2017 – a mere 18 months ago when a certain Dedryk Boyata got his first start of the season and his first start under Brendan Rodgers against Albion Rovers.
The response from the majority of fans was one of bemusement and we have some of the tweets to prove it!
If only we played Albion Rovers every week because Boyata looked world class against them 😂
— Danny Rooney (@dannybhoyrooney) January 22, 2017
Right, it was all fun and games playing Boyata against Albion Rovers but cmon to fuck Brendan, 2 games in a row is taking the piss! 🙈
— Gary (@GaryC88) January 25, 2017
The flurry of headlines Boyata still has a future at Celtic is purely down to Brendan's diplomacy. He doesn't & was playing Albion Rovers
— matt mcglone (@MattMcGlone9) January 23, 2017
Boyata. Somebody maybe wants to buy him, probably not a good idea to play him and let them see how bad he is. Even against Albion Rovers
— Kevin (@kevindempsey81) January 22, 2017
Boyata hadn’t bee seen since a hapless Ronny Deila side fell to a lower league Ibrox side on penalties at Hampden. That day, the Belgian defender looked utterly bereft of confidence and totally out his depth.
For many Celtic fans, he was all but written off.
Rodgers gave the player a second chance against Albion Rovers in the early rounds of the Scottish Cup on a bleak and bitterly cold Sunday afternoon at the Excelsior stadium and bhoy did he take it.
The team ran out 3-0 winners against Rovers on that day with Boyata shining – as you seen from the tweets above, he was given little credit. Even our social media wasn’t buying it!
After the game, the Celtic manager spoke highly of his defender:
“I thought Dedryck Boyata looked real quality today. He looked like the player I knew as a really young player at Manchester City.”
“He has all the attributes that I love, He is big, has a good spring. He can defend, he steps forward and defends and he can play.”
“The problem in the past is he has made mistakes – you can’t make mistakes and that is concentration.”
“But he was very focused and knew this might be his moment. He has the shirt, he played well, now stay in the team.”
While Dedryk has made a few mistakes since then he has generally been a sound defender for Celtic and being so solid and part of a double treble winning side has won him a call-up to the World Cup.
Brendan Rodgers has worked wonders with the defender who is certainly not short on confidence these days.
When you look at where he was 18-months ago to where he is now the Irishman deserves an immense amount of credit for making him a World Cup worthy star.
Of course, it was Dedryk himself putting in the work on the training field and taking his chance when it finally came that has been much a part of that success.
We wish him well at the World Cup and hope he sees game time.