Boyata's ex team mate says defender is 'perfect Denayer replacement'

The 24-year-old has come in for his compatriot at Celtic Park, and is more than able to fill his boots according to O'Halloran.

St Johnstone striker Michael O'Halloran has revealed that new Celtic signing Dedryck Boyata has many of the qualities of another Belgian to have starred for the Bhoys recently, comparing him closely to Jason Denayer, in comments appearing in the Daily Record.

O'Halloran played with Boyata at Bolton, and was left with nothing but positive impressions of the former Manchester City defender.

“Dedryck is a quality player. Celtic have done well to sign a defender of his calibre," he told the Record.

“Let’s just say he is a big, athletic powerful type of player and is great in the air.

“His sheer physical presence and strength will be there for all to see. He cuts an imposing figure at the back and every Premiership forward will find out soon enough for themselves the hard way.

“I can see why Celtic have gone for a player like him. He’ll be viewed as a direct replacement for Jason Denayer and can slot into that defensive role perfectly.

“Boyata is also strong, quick and fit so there are many similarities between the two players.”

Denayer had a phenomenal first season of professional football on loan from Manchester City, playing 46 games for the Bhoys and scoring 6 times to help Celtic to their 46th league championship.

He won both the Celtic and Scottish Young Player of the Year, as well as a cap in what is a fiercely competitive Belgium squad.

The 19-year-old will now return to the Etihad as a player capable of making an impact in City's expensively assembled squad, while Boyata, who has struggled to earn playing time in Manchester, has arrived in Glasgow hungry for games.

The 24-year-old will be hoping his career suffers a similar boost from moving to the Scottish giants, and if O'Halloran's comments are anything to go by, there is no reason why it won't.

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