Roberto Martinez says Dedryck Boyata is “increasingly mature” and “the future” of Belgium’s national team, reports the Daily Record. The Celtic centre-back joined from Manchester City in 2015 and has gone on to make 113 appearances in all competitions. He’s represented his country on 13 occasions and has become a regular in the last 12 months.
Boyata has stepped into the shoes of Vincent Kompany and finds himself on par with the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. He struggled for playing time at Manchester City in the past, making only 35 appearances across the board between 2010 and 2015, but developed as a central defender at Celtic.
The 27-year-old has gone on to win three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. Boyata had offers to leave Celtic during the summer and it led to him refusing to play as he sought a Parkhead exit. And while Boyata opted to stay this season, his deal runs out next summer and suitors may again come knocking.
Martinez was full of praise for the centre-back and believes he will have a bright future in store for the national team. He said: “I learned a lot of useful things in this game. I learned that Boyata can play as the lead defender and puts on increasingly mature performances every time he plays for Belgium. Jason Denayer was very strong in possession too.”
Stats from Transfermarkt.