Dedryck Boyata’s contract has been thrown up into the air after the latest new deals for Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham respectively.
To be honest, quite rightly so.
Celtic have had a week of good business for the club. Tying down the likes of Ntcham and Christie are great deals for the Hoops. Work is clearly being put in place to make sure the best talent doesn’t leave the club.
Therefore, it’s now essential that they do likewise with Boyata. With both he and Filip Benkovic’s Celtic futures up in the air, the club needs to sort out what could end up being a centre-back crisis.
Boyata has been sensational this season since deciding to come back and play. It took a lot of convincing to the club’s own supporters after he failed to turn up in Athens. That was the lowest point the Belgian has ever had at the Hoops, and some still haven’t forgiven him.
But it’s funny how much form plays a part in easing supporters’ concerns. Now, he’s regarded as Celtic’s best centre-back. Whilst Benkovic may have something to say about that, Boyata has been performing at a high level for longer than the Croatian.
Why tie him down?
It’s not only Boyata’s form that makes him such an essential tie-down for a new contract, it’s his fellow defender’s situation also.
Celtic could very well be left with a situation where Benkovic goes back to Leicester City in January. The Croatian opened up on that possibility the moment he stepped through Lennoxtown’s front doors.
Boyata, on the other hand, is now into the final year of his contract. It’s open season for clubs who wish to buy him in January, as he can sign a pre-contract for nothing or leave for a small amount in the New Year.
This, therefore, means that a scenario could occur where both of Celtic’s first-choice centre-backs have left the club. Unless Celtic have one or two replacements in place to combat this, it’s a big concern.
Tying down Boyata would at the very least ease some supporters’ fears. We all know Benkovic will eventually go back to Leiecester, and the club can prepare for that.
If Boyata leaves, however, then it’s going to be difficult finding a couple of replacements in such short notice.
Celtic fans don’t want Jack Hendry back in the side, whilst Jozo Simunovic hasn’t convinced either and is currently sidelined.
Signing up Ntcham and Christie was a wise move by Celtic. Now, Boyata simply has to be next for several important reasons.