Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his delight at the performances of Hoops centre-back Dedryck Boyata in the World Cup.

The 27-year-old has played in all three of Belgium’s games so far, and he strolled through the 1-0 win over England which saw the Belgians move on to play Japan in the last 16 of the tournament in Russia.

Rodgers is thrilled that a player he rescued from the Hoops doldrums is now starring in the World Cup and has proved his doubters wrong.

“I was really proud watching Dedryck last night. He looked a top class operator” Rodgers told STV Sport, following the win over England.

“He showed all the qualities that I believe he has in terms of pace and power and strength. He’s good in the air and he showed last night that his passing is very good as well.”

Belgium’s continued World Cup success means the defender could miss the first two rounds of the Hoops’ upcoming Champions League qualifying rounds.

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Football Insider verdict

Brendan Rodgers is a huge fan of Dedryck Boyata, so it isn’t exactly a shock to hear him praise the big defender in such glowing terms. And even Boyata’s harshest critics would agree that he has been excellent so far in the World Cup. What the future holds for Boyata is another thing entirely, as with his contract running out at the end of next seasons any watching scouts would have been very impressed with what they have saw from the centre-back so far. He has been calm and composed in a way that has often been missing from his game with the Bhoys. It will be intriguing to see what happens should a club make a bid for Boyata this summer. There is no doubt that Rodgers would love to keep him at the club, but the board may feel differently if he has not yet agreed a new contract. It could be a very interesting summer indeed for Boyata, as long as he keeps playing to the level he is currently at.

In other Celtic news, there is no chance the Hoops will sell this key player this summer

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