Dedryck Boyata confirmed his departure from Celtic on Sunday after agreeing to join Hertha Berlin. The Belgian is out of contract after spending four mixed years at the club and moves on to the Bundesliga with the best wishes of fans.
The 28-year-old has probably been Celtic’s best defender in recent seasons but frequent lapses in concentration have held him back from being a top star for the club.
His effect of his departure will be determined by the quality of replacement brought in this summer.
Another Van Dijk or an experienced head?
Celtic’s model in recent years has been to buy young, develop and sell on for profit. The Hoops managed to do that spectacularly with Virgil Van Dijk but other than that, not too many defenders have been sold on for a decent fee.
The next Celtic manager must look to do what Brendan Rodgers never did and build his side on solid foundations. We’ve been let down continually in Europe by defensive errors and poor decision making. It is crucial that we bolster our options at the back this summer.
It may make sense to buck the development trend and bring in an older, more experienced head. Kolo Toure had a great impact on the team in his short spell as a player in 2016. He offered us reassurance on the pitch and helped to improve some young guns on the training field too.
Celtic may be tempted to move for a similar style with the likes of Gary Cahill currently available.
An average defence will get us by in the domestic game but if we really want to make inroads in Europe then we must invest in quality.