Bring back Jason Denayer to Celtic

By Ruari Macneil

January 20, 2018

It is painful to think that Brendan Rodgers actually explored the option of re-signing Jason Denayer in the summer, only for the Belgian to explain that he had already agreed to join Galatasaray on loan.

Had he returned to Celtic for a second stint, Denayer would have had another crack at the Champions League group stage, and almost definitely would have started, with the injury problems that the Hoops have experienced at the heart of defence this season.

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Champions League football is something that Denayer will have missed out on this year with Galatasaray. In fact, the youngster didn’t even get the chance to impress in the Europa League, as the Turkish giants were knocked out by Swedish minnows Ostersunds in a shock defeat after the second qualifying round.

Nonetheless, the Manchester City loanee has still made 13 appearances for the Istanbul club and has continued to develop as a defender for the future.

Having had a taste of top tier football in Scotland, England and Turkey, as well as nearing double figures in terms of Belgium caps, the 22-year-old is quite a bit more experienced now than the teenager that signed for Celtic back in 2014.

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With Denayer’s loan deal set to expire at the end of the season, Celtic should do everything in their power to secure his services, ideally on a permanent deal.

Denayer played alongside world record defender Virgil Van Dijk for a whole season whilst at Celtic Park. His development as a teenager at Celtic was impressive, and not only was he an integral part of the team that won a domestic double in 2014/2015, Denayer’s personal efforts were also rewarded with the club’s young player of the year award and the SPFA young player of the year award. He was also included in the SPFA team of the year.

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Kris Commons made a terrific point on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound the other night, highlighting the fact that to make it as a Celtic player you need to be prepared to play 50 to 60 games per season. Marvin Compper, at 32, is averaging about 20. It’s understandable that Rodgers wants an older head around the squad to help youngsters such as Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer, however, the Belgian will be 23 in the summer with 4 seasons of first team football under his belt. He may not have the experience of Compper, but he will give you a good deal more game time and is developing all the time.

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