Brendan Rodgers hails Dedryck Boyata after Celtic's 3-0 win over Albion Rovers

  Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (L) and Dedryck
Image: Dedryck Boyata is congratulated by Brendan Rodgers after the 3-0 win

Brendan Rodgers insists Dedryck Boyata has a future at Celtic after the defender returned for the 3-0 William Hill Scottish Cup win against Albion Rovers.

The former Manchester City player, signed in 2015 by former manager Ronny Deila, had only featured once previously this season, against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in November, and was widely believed to be surplus to requirements.

However, the 26-year-old was reinstated due to the suspension of Erik Sviatchenko and had a solid game at Airdirie's Excelsior stadium as the runaway Scottish Premiership leaders earned themselves a home fifth-round tie against Inverness thanks to goals from Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Stuart Armstrong.

Dedryck Boyata produced a fine performance on his return to the Celtic team
Image: Boyata produced a fine performance on his return to the Celtic team

"I thought Dedryck Boyata looked real quality today," said Rodgers, who was pleased with the "professional" performance his side produced against the League One part-timers.

"He looked like the player I knew as a really young player at Manchester City.

Scott Sinclair opened the scoring for Celtic in their Scottish Cup Fourth round fixture away to Albion Rovers with a memorable strike.

"I've seen him play against Didier Drogba and he was fantastic, strong, aggressive, quick, and kept it simple.

"He hasn't had a chance to play because of the others who've been playing but in the last few weeks in training he has been great and he was really focused - no mistakes, really simple, get on the front foot, win your headers and you can be a player.

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"He has all the attributes that I love, He is big, has a good spring. He can defend, he steps forward and defends and he can play.

"The problem in the past is he has made mistakes - you can't make mistakes and that is concentration.

"But he was very focused and knew this might be his moment. He has the shirt, he played well, now stay in the team."

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