Ronny Deila explains what he told new Celtic defender Boyata before signing

Ronny Deila claims new Celtic signing Dedryck Boyata has great potential.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told The Scotsman that new signing Dedryck Boyata has the potential to be a 'top international player'.

Boyata, 24, recently left Manchester City to become Celtic's first summer signing, penning a four-year deal with the Bhoys.

The Belgian arrives in Glasgow to replace his compatriot Jason Denayer, who has returned to Manchester City after his Celtic loan deal expired earlier this summer.

Now expected to play a key role for Celtic next season, Boyata finds himself in unfamiliar territory having barely played for City over the last year.

However, Celtic boss Deila believes that Boyata simply needs trust - and in an interview with The Scotsman, he admitted that he told the defender he could become a 'great, great central defender' during his first meeting with Boyata, which could have persuaded him to make the move.

"He needs love, he needs trust and opportunities to play over time. As did Jason [Denayer]. They have to deserve it, so they have to show it in training and matches," said Deila. "But when you feel you are number four [centre-back] and don’t get any minutes you’re just there and you don’t feel the love you need. I told him when we first met what we were capable of and that we really believed in him, that he can be a great, great central defender."

"I know that if we can get the best out of him he has the potential to be a top international player. City agree and they will follow him in the future to see if he can take the next step, like Virgil [van Dijk] is trying to do now. The way we work, we have good material to work with. If we get it right we can make a top player," he added.

Untapped potential

Boyata arrives at Celtic having played just nine games in the last two seasons for Manchester City, and is looking to kickstart his career under Deila.

It seems that the Bhoys manager is well aware that Boyata has untapped potential, and just needs to get his career back on track in Glasgow.

It's easy to forget that Boyata burst onto the scene in 2010, impressing for City against rivals Manchester United - and having initially impressed, Boyata now needs to rediscover those performances as a Celtic player; and if he can, Deila's prediction that he could become a star may come true.

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