Football After Celtic: Jason Denayer, Olympique Lyon | OneFootball

Football After Celtic: Jason Denayer, Olympique Lyon

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The Celtic Star

Although many of our fans have the attitude that once a player leaves Celtic they no longer care how their career progresses I have always been the opposite and like to keep an eye on how they get on in life after leaving paradise. It’s maybe unsurprising to hear that for the majority of players their time with our club is the pinnacle of their careers (as it should be!) but this is not always the case.

One such case were a player has continued to excel beyond his time at Celtic is Jason Denayer. After watching him have an easy night harnessing the overrated ‘talent’ on show against theRangers last week it piqued my curiosity to find out how his career has panned out since leaving Celtic Park back in the summer of 2015.

21.09.2014. Jason Denayer  in action against Motherwell, 21 September 2014. Photo Vagelis Georgariou

On 12 August 2014, Celtic signed Denayer on a season-long loan from Manchester City. He was one of Ronny Delia’s first major signings as manager of Celtic. He scored on his debut and was named man of the match as we beat Dundee United 6–1 at home. Already he had become a fans favourite with everyone excited with how good he looked at such a young age without a lot of senior football experience. Playing the season alongside future Uefa player of the year, Virgil van Dijk  obviously being a considerable help. He would go on to win the PFA Scotland young player of the year.

Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer celebrate at Pittodrie, 9 November 2014, Photo Vagelis Georgariou

Unfortunately Celtic couldn’t convince Man City to loan him to us for another year and over the next 3 years he would end up being loaned out again first to Galatasaray, then to Sunderland then back to Galatasaray again. These loans were a mixed bag, the Galatasaray ones worked out ok with decent amount of game time and won the Turkish Cup in his first spell and the league in his second spell. His time at Sunderland was a bit of a disaster, playing in a bad team who ended up relegated, under a manager who would try to utilise him in midfield rather than his natural position in defence.

Jason Denayer of Olympique Lyonnais during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain and Olympique Lyon at the Parc des Princes in Paris,  on 19 September, 2021. Photo VI ANP Sport

In the summer of 2018 Lyon purchased Denayer for €6.5m which was an excellent piece of business by the French club. Oh how we as Celtic fans would love to be able to buy a Centre Back as good as Denayer for that price. He has been ever present in a slightly underachieving Lyon side but is popular with the fans.

Internationally Denayer is going from strength to strength. With Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghan coming to the end of their careers Roberto Martinez has recently been playing him in every game, often beside the man who replaced him at the heart of the Celtic defence, Dedryck Boyata (bringing back memories of the Boyata song!)

UEFA Europa League – Group A, Round One – Glasgow Rangers 0 Lyon 2 – Ibrox stadium – 16 September 2021 Kemar Roofe of theRangers loses out to Jason Denayer of Olympique Lyonnais.

I’m glad Jason Denayer’s career has progressed so well. He was excellent throughout his time at Celtic and most of us could see he was a star of the future. Celtic wise it’s always a bonus when a player you helped nurture goes far in the game. It means teams continue to be more than happy to trust us with their young stars and it shows any young player that Celtic is an excellent place to come and learn their craft.

Conall McGinty

Celtic players including Jason Denayer (far right) celebrate after the first ever meeting between Celtic and theRangers on 1 February 2015  in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden. Mikael Lustig, Scott Brown, James Forrest,  Adam Matthews, Nir Bitton  Kris Commons and Jason Denayer appear to have enjoyed the 2-0 win.

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