Marc Wilmots: Celtic loan defender Jason Denayer can be ‘world class’

Denayer is currently on loan at Celtic from Manchester City.

Speaking to the official Man City website, Belgium manager Marc Wilmots praised Jason Denayer and admitted that he can become a ‘world class’ centre-back in the future.

He said: “After 30 minutes [vs Internazionale in the Europa League], Celtic were down to ten men and then I saw what a player he is. He took command and remained calm and controlled his defence.

“First and foremost, he defends. He's also fast and his positional sense is superb. But what I will say is that Jason has enormous potential. If he continues to evolve at the rate he is progressing, he can be world class.”

Denayer is coming to the end of his season-long loan deal with Scottish champions Celtic, and it has certainly be a productive stay for the 19-year-old.

43 games have brought a return of six goals, and he has marshalled a defence alongside Virgil van Dijk that has conceded fewer than a goal a game.

His impressive form earned him his first Belgium call-up in March 2015, and he looks like a top level central defender in the making, who is set to have a bright career for both club and country.

What is most impressive about Denayer’s season is the fact that he has played so well and has looked so commanding despite this being his first ever taste of professional senior football. He had yet to make a competitive appearance before arriving at Parkhead, but he looks a mature presence in the heart of the back-line.

The real worry for Denayer is how the next few years of his career progress. He is still young and needs to keep developing, and a report in the Daily Mail claimed that City would refuse to loan him to Celtic again next season.

It is stated that they want him to gain experience of English football, and a Daily Star report later claimed that Newcastle and Sunderland would be keen on signing him next season.

Should Denayer receive a Premier League loan, and impress for a whole season, there is no denying that he may start on the development path to truly world class centre-back.

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