Dedryck Boyata could make his long awaited competitive debut for Hertha Berlin this weekend.
The Scottish Sun report that the former Celtic defender is in the Hertha squad for their Bundesliga clash away to Mainz on Saturday afternoon. The Belgian featured in two friendlies for his new side in July but hasn’t played a single competitive clash since Celtic’s derby victory over Rangers in March.
Boyata’s debut for Hertha could be a big one too. The team from the German capital are currently second bottom of the Bundesliga with only Mainz below them. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in all four of their competitive matches so far this season.
Boyata has missed some big games since Hertha move
The length of Boyata’s injury lay-off perhaps shows that he wasn’t as big a miss as many made out. The Belgian was a solid defender on his day but he did have some major flaws, and the fact he would have missed the entire first block of our season lessens his absence a little.
Incredibly, Boyata didn’t play a single Champions League qualifier in any of Brendan Rodgers’ years in charge. Between 2016 and 2019, the Belgian was either injured, out of favour, or both when Celtic’s big early season clashes came around. The fact that he has once again missed the start of this season suggests that there is an underlying issue there.
It would still have been great to have the 28-year-old around but the recent emergence of Kristoffer Ajer and the big money signing of Christopher Jullien means Hoops fans are feeling a lot better about the centre of defence.
Our defensive performance at Ibrox has set the tone for the upcoming European matches. If we can match that level of discipline then we may chalk up a good few more clean sheets before the end of our Group E campaign.