Tom Boyd: Why Jason Denayer’s Belgium call up was important for Celtic

Celtic loan star Denayer made his Belgium debut a few days ago.

Denayer enjoyed a great season on loan with Celtic, and former Bhoys captain Boyd has admitted to the Herald that him winning international recognition is vital for Celtic’s plans in the transfer market.

Boyd - the last Celtic captain to win a domestic treble - said: “The key change last season was Jason Denayer. It is how we can push this football club and show that we can get players international games which previously guys would say that if you played in the Scottish league you would ruin your international chances.”

Boyd is suggesting that Denayer’s ability to get into the Belgium team, for his debut no less, has not been diminished despite him playing in Scottish football.

This call-up has indicated that players are able to move to Celtic, and play for the Bhoys, without ruining their chances of international recognition despite the fact they are playing in a lower quality league.

Celtic can still offer Champions League football - six guaranteed games as long as they pass through the qualification stages - but even Denayer worked his way into the international fold without the need to impress in Europe.

Whilst Boyd has highlighted this key change, it does not look likely that central defender Virgil van Dijk will heed his words, with the Dutchman keen on leaving Celtic to play in a higher quality league.

He spoke to Voetbal International yesterday to confirm that he needed a move away from Parkhead to increase his chances of breaking into the Netherlands international set-up.

Maybe if van Dijk kept his head down to work and improve, rather than forcing a transfer away from Celtic, he too would be following Denayer's path into the world of senior international football.

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