Celtic might have kept three successive clean sheets in domestic football but to claim that their defensive issues are a thing of the past would be a little premature.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have looked shaky at the back throughout 2018 with defeats against the likes of Kilmarnock, AEK Athens and Red Bull Salzburg this season highlighting a well publicised Achilles heel.
So Roberto Martinez’s comments on Thursday morning will hurt.
Dedryck Boyata partnered Jason Denayer at centre-back in Belgium’s 1-1 draw against a resurgent Netherlands outfit on Tuesday and the Rote Duivels manager Martinez was hugely impressed by what he sees as a burgeoning relationship.
"I learned that Boyata can play as the lead defender and puts on increasingly mature performances every time he plays for Belgium. Jason Denayer was very strong in possession too,” the former Everton and Wigan boss said in quotes reported by the Daily Record.
"I was impressed by the way they understood each other and there is a basis of a good partnership there.”
So Celtic fans will be wondering what might have been. The Scottish champions would love to keep Boyata at Parkhead for the foreseeable future but an exit looks imminent with Celtic failing to extend a contract that expires at the end of the season.
Denayer, meanwhile, is currently at Lyon but The Hoops were reported to have been close to bringing their former loan star back to Glasgow. Nieuwsblad claimed in August that Celtic were winning the race to sign him from Manchester City before he headed to France.
And after watching Jack Hendry struggle, Josip Simunovic warm the bench and Marvin Compper still out of action, Celtic could only dream of enjoying a Boyata – Denayer partnership for years to come.