Former team-mate backs Celtic new boy to help slay Ajax

The Atleti defender believes his former Ajax teammate could be key to success in Europe

Celtic new boy Derk Boerrigter could be key to their chances of beating Ajax home and away in the Champions League, according to his former teammate and defender Toby Alderweireld. The recently acquired winger has made just four appearances for the Bhoys this term since his £3m summer move to Celtic Park but his one time Ajax teammate believes the 26-year-old could play a part in defeating the Amsterdam giants.

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Neil Lennon’s team are set to go head-to-head with the reigning Eredivisie champions in Glasgow next week, knowing that only victory will keep them in contention for a place in the knockout stages of the competition. The two teams will then meet again in Holland on Wednesday, November 6th, with back-to-back wins for either likely to ensure Europa League football at the very least.

And while Boerrigter has been used sparingly so far, Alderweireld believes his old friend’s personal connection with opponents Ajax will not only fire him up for the two matches ahead, but make him a useful asset to the Glasgow club’s efforts.

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'He is going to do well, he is fast and he has an excellent shot,' he told 'I expect Derk very motivated to play against Ajax because he has now left Ajax…He will want to prove that they have taken to let 'him a wrong decision.'

The defender went on to rate Celtic’s chances against his former employers as “fifty-fifty” but noted that either side would have chances to score against group rivals AC Milan, though they would need to beware of any potential counter-attacks.

Alderweireld has thus far struggled for form since his summer move from Ajax to Atletico Madrid and should he continue to find La Liga life tough, then a move to the Premier League could still be in the offing, with Tottenham Hotspur among the potential suitors for the highly-rated defender.

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