Back in the summer of 2015, Celtic secured a deal to bring Dedryck Boyata to Parkhead on a four-year contract.
The centre back had been playing his football at Premier League heavyweights Manchester City in the years previous to his move to Celtic Park, although he managed just 34 senior appearances for the Citizens, with loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and FC Twente underlining his lowly position in the pecking order.
And Scottish giants Celtic were able to lure him away from the Etihad Stadium little over three years ago, which was a move that stimulated quite a positive and excited reaction from Bhoys supporters on Twitter…
@celticfc welcome to greatest club in the world wish you every success and can not wait to see you on the field hail hail
— Ian McLeod (@imcleod2712) June 2, 2015
@celticfc what a signing
— Drew (@drewcochrane96) June 2, 2015
@celticfc Good signing. HH
— DarthAlcoholic (@DarthAlcoholic) June 2, 2015
@celticfc welcome to Paradise Dedrick pal wishing you a massive success on your journey here you’ll love it HH COYBIG
— john_NUFC42 (@john_nufc42) June 2, 2015
@celticfc welcome to the best club in the world big man
— paul the tim (@paulthetim) June 2, 2015
@celticfc Welcome big man! Hopefully you become a huge success at this club.
— Marty Strong (@MartyStrong88) June 2, 2015
@celticfc should have Bhoyata on the back of his kit
— CelticVines (@Celtic_Vines) June 2, 2015
— RhebelRhebel (@RhebelRhebel) June 2, 2015
And while the 27-year-old has had some low moments during his time north of the border, he has on the whole performed well for Celtic to suggest that those Bhoys fans were absolutely spot on about the shrewd acquisition their side made back in 2015.
Clearly, Boyata was unlikely to make the grade at City, with his final two seasons at the North West club yielding only nine appearances in all competitions, of which just three came in the Premier League.
Thus, Ronny Delia’s Celtic spent £1.8 million (as per Transfermarkt) to lure the Belgium international to Parkhead three years ago, and three Scottish Premiership titles and 110 appearances later, it looks as though it was an inspired decision by the Bhoys hierarchy.
The centre back appeared 42 times in his first season at Celtic Park to help Delia’s men cruise to the league title, finishing 15 points clear of second place Aberdeen, and while Brendan Rodgers’ arrival saw Boyata’s game time reduce somewhat, he still ended the 2016/17 season with three winner’s medals from the Scottish Premiership, Scottish League Cup, and Scottish Cup.
And in appearing 39 times in all competitions last season as Rodgers’ men again won the domestic treble, the 27-year-old has been a key part of one of the most successful eras in the club’s history, although he threatened to overshadow that by reportedly seeking a move away during the summer, with Fulham one interested party.
And while that episode unsurprisingly didn’t go down too well among Celtic fans, he has come back into the side recently to great effect to further underline his quality in the heart of the backline – after all, there’s a reason he started three games for Belgium at the World Cup.
Thus, while there have been some low moments, Boyata has on the whole been a great and shrewd addition to the Celtic squad, thus suggesting that those fans were right to be excited by his arrival back in 2015.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!