Eric van Meir believes Dedryck Boyata could become “the most important man” for the Belgium national team in the future. The Celtic centre-back, who joined from Manchester City in July 2015, has made 12 appearances for his country. Boyata has made 10 of his 12 Belgium caps within the last 18 months and played in all three group games in the 2018 World Cup.
He deputised when the likes of Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen were injured and out of the side, and now van Meir is backing him to become a mainstay at the heart of the defence. As per The Sun, he said: “Dedryck Boyata can become the most important man in the defence of the Red Devils in the future.
“He has already proved that at the World Cup when he successfully dealt with the injuries of Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen and played really well. He will become Belgium’s main central defender very soon. I have no doubts about him as the future of the country’s defence.”
Boyata is still a new face in the national team, but he’s been around at club level for almost ten years. He rose through the youth ranks to the Manchester City first-team in 2009/10, making a handful of appearances in the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup before loan moves to Bolton Wanderers and FC Twente followed.
The 27-year-old struggled for playing time at City, making only a total of 35 appearances in all competitions before he moved to Celtic in search for first-team football. And it was at Parkhead that he became a regular and turned into a top defender for the title-winners. Playing for Celtic boosted his international dream too and now he’s reaping the rewards.
Stats from Transfermarkt.