According to a report from The Sun, Celtic and Belgium defender Dedryck Boyata is attracting interest from the Premier League. The centre back was a somewhat surprising inclusion in Roberto Martinez’s squad for this summer’s World Cup, but the 27-year-old has since impressed in starting all three of their group stage clashes, in what should be of interest to Southampton manager Mark Hughes.
And with the Saints likely on the lookout for defensive reinforcements, alongside the success they have had in bringing the likes of Virgil van Dijk to the club from Celtic, they should seek to join the race for the £1.8 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, Netherlands international van Dijk became one of the best centre backs in the Premier League during his stint at Southampton between 2015 and 2018, to the point that Liverpool splashed out £75 million to lure him away from St Mary’s earlier this year.
And having bought him from Celtic for £13 million three years ago, alongside having brought the likes of Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster to the club from Parkhead to good effect, the Saints may well be looking to replicate that success this summer. And Boyata could be that man.
The centre back has enjoyed a fine few years north of the border following his move from Manchester City back in 2015, with the 27-year-old going on to appear over 100 times for Brendan Rodgers’ men, 39 of which coming last term as they secured back-to-back domestic trebles.
Add in the 22 appearances the campaign before in their run to all three domestic trophies, and it’s clear that Boyata has come on leaps and bounds under former Liverpool chief Rodgers since his appointment back in 2016, to the point that the 27-year-old has earned eight of his ten Belgium caps in the last two years.
And having performed particularly well for Martinez’s side in helping them win all three of their group stages matches at the World Cup, the centre back’s stock is raising quite considerably – there’s a reason Fulham are interested in his services.
But after selling van Dijk to Liverpool back in January, and having as of yet to replace the Dutchman, Hughes’ Saints must seek to join the race for the defender, especially given the success they have had in bringing Celtic stars south of the border to St Mary’s.
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Yes, they were by no means the worse side defensively in the top-flight last term, but the South Coast outfit will certainly need to improve upon their tally of 56 goals conceded from their 38 matches if they are to re-establish themselves in the top half of the table – Boyata can help with that.
Thus, having had success in signing Celtic players before, alongside Boyata’s fine efforts for both club and country in the last 12 months, Southampton must seek to join the race for the 27-year-old this summer.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!