Dedryck Boyata’s departure from Celtic has well and truly been moved on from, but it hasn’t stopped him from touching on his departure.
The Belgian, in the end, proved to be a fine player for the Hoops. He was at the heart of the treble-treble success, and despite having his setbacks at the club, he was a mainstay in Brendan Rodgers’ and Neil Lennon’s respective Celtic sides.
Boyata ran down his contract last summer and made the switch to Hertha Berlin. A slow start in Germany saw him miss the first four matches with a thigh injury. Recently, however, he’s played in four consecutive games and managed to nab his first goal for the club.
It’s certainly improved his morale. And, speaking to Belgian outlet Walfoot, he opened up further on his Celtic departure and why he left.
“When I arrived at Herta Berlin, I signed up for a club that has real ambitions. Of course, it’s different from Celtic where you play for the title. Better yet, you have to win the title. But I am in an ambitious club. There is more competition here, more big teams – that’s what I was looking for.
“But do not believe that the pressure is lower or easier to manage (at Celtic). You have huge expectations that weight on you. Those of the fans, the direction, the fact of having to always be at the top.
“But it’s true that after a good World Cup, good performances, there was the will to take up another challenge.”
Boyata did a job in the end for Celtic
There were certainly run-ins. The AEK debacle was tough for supporters to get over. Coming off against Rangers back in March when we were a man ahead and at 1-1 was also frustrating.
However, over the piece, Boyata did a real job for Celtic. He played a total of 135 competitive games for the club and notched 15 goals during his four-year spell in Glasgow. His revival under Brendan Rodgers was quite a renaissance, having been frozen out during a shaky first year at the club.
It was clear for a while that his heart wasn’t truly in it at Parkhead. He knew he wanted to go and find a bigger challenge in a more high-profile league.
And you can’t truly blame him for that either. No Celtic supporter would deny that the Bundesliga is a bigger league than the Scottish Premiership. Considering Boyata made the World Cup with Belgium, he may have seen an opportunity there with Vincent Kompany coming to the closing stages of his career too.
International ambitions will be a huge prospect for Boyata after moving to the Bundesliga. It finally seems as though he’s getting to grips with life in Germany too.
Celtic have moved on and probably upgraded with the signing of Christopher Jullien. But as for Boyata, we can always look back on his time here as a highly successful one.