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Tom Boyd comments on the important partnership Ronny Deila has just lost

Former Celtic defender Tom Boyd has emphasised how important Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer were for the club last season.

Former Celtic star Tom Boyd told the Glasgow Evening Times that he doesn’t think there’s any way to look at the club’s centre back pairing last season than successful.

Boyd holds no doubt that the combination of Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer across the back four last season is one of the main reasons the Bhoys were able to push on and secure a domestic double, narrowly missing out on a treble.

“It is always going to be the two centre-backs who take all the adulation for the defensive performance,” he said.

“I don't think you can have anything other than praise for the understanding they developed together.”

“Both players have a fair bit of pace about them and I thought they dovetailed very well.”

One of the major worries for Celtic manager Ronny Deila would have been what he was going to do with Denayer heading back to parent club Manchester City and the possibility of losing van Dijk from the heart of the back four to a big money bid.

The Norwegian deserves credit for drafting in a similar player to Denayer in the form of Dedryck Boyata, which gives him a fresh defensive option long before the players meet up again for pre-season.

He’s not shown any complacency in expecting to get Denayer back or in expecting van Dijk to stay at the club.

Hopefully van Dijk won’t be going anywhere and will have a chance to form a good understanding next to Boyata, as the club look to better the progress they made in Deila’s first season in charge at Parkhead.

Celtic’s defence is arguably the most important part of their team and it’s vital that it retains strength for the next campaign.

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