John Kennedy praises new Celtic signing Dedryck Boyata, admits he 'ticked the boxes' for Deila

Celtic coach John Kennedy has heaped praise on new signing Dedryck Boyata.

Celtic first-team coach John Kennedy has told the Daily Mail that new signing Dedryck Boyata is a similar player to Jason Denayer.

Boyata, 24, has chosen to leave Manchester City having failed to make an impression in the first team under Manuel Pellegrini - replacing Denayer.

Fellow Belgian Denayer spent last season on loan at Celtic from Manchester City, but has now returned to the Etihad Stadium to continue his career with City.

Boyata now arrives in his place, and is expected to be a first team regular under manager Ronny Deila next season, especially with question marks over the future of star centre back Virgil van Dijk.

Now, Celtic coach Kennedy has told the Daily Mail that Boyata 'ticked the boxes' for Deila, and that the player has similar attributes to Denayer.

"There are similarities to Jason," said Kennedy. "He’s quick, aggressive, good on the ball, so everything we wanted in a centre-back, he ticked the boxes. When we found he was available, the manager did a bit of work by going to speak to City and the player."

"Dedryck is ambitious and he knows he needs to get playing football again. He realises he’s spent a bit of time watching instead of playing and I think that is why he has come here because he realises this gives him a good opportunity to play at a very good level," he added.

Ideal replacement

Replacing Denayer was always going to be difficult for Celtic boss Deila, but it appears that he could have landed a perfect replacement.

Boyata arrives having also been schooled at Manchester City, and possesses the athleticism to make a similar impact to Denayer.

This time, the Bhoys have Denayer permanently rather than just a loan deal as with Denayer - and fans should be happy about that.

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