DEDRYCK BOYATA has admitted he has been greatly impressed by new central defensive partner Erik Sviatchenko.
The £2million Danish international, who was signed from FC Midtiylland last month, has started the last three games alongside the Belgian, a £1million recruit from Manchester City in the summer.
Sviatchenko made his debut as a 13th-minute substitute for the red-carded Efe Ambrose in the controversial 3-1 League Cup semi-final defeat against Ross County, but was in at the kick-off for the games against Aberdeen, East Kilbride and the 3-1 revenge win over the Highlanders at the weekend.
Boyata admitted: “I didn’t know who he was before he came here, but he is undoubtedly a good defender.
“We have a lot of good defenders in the squad now and that can increase the competition for places and raise our performance levels even higher.
“We know it’s a long season. I was out injured and Efe took my position. Now Jozo Simunovic is out and Erik has come in, so it’s good to have some fresh signings and that can only help us.”
Boss Ronny Deila has been seeking a new defensive double-act after selling Virgil van Dijk for £13million to Southampton while Jason Denayer returned to parent club Manchester City when his season-long loan deal expired.
Boyata also welcomed the return of skipper Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew following injury and he believes they will provide much-needed impetus for the remainder of the campaign as the Hoops target a league and Cup double.
He added: “Towards the end of the season we will need every single player. It’s good to have Scott and Charlie back and it will be great when Saidy Janko returns, too.
“That’s the good thing about the team as there is a freshness there and, hopefully, they will help us get over the line.”
* Read the full interview in this week’s Celtic View, on sale now.
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