DEDRYCK BOYATA received a glowing endorsement yesterday from Owen Coyle, who believes that Celtic's new £1.5m signing from Manchester City has the potential to be a top player.

Coyle had Boyata on loan from City at Bolton Wanderers, when he was manager there, and identified the young Belgian as the person to fill the shoes of England defender Gary Cahill.

Injury prevented Boyata from making an impact once Cahill was sold to Chelsea by Bolton in 2012 for £7m, but it is an indication of Coyle's trust in the centre-back that he is convinced the Scottish champions can reap the rewards of signing the 24-year-old.

Boyata spent nine years with Manchester City after they recruited him to their academy at 15. Coyle recruited the centre-back on loan for the 2011-12 season when Bolton were still in the English Premier League when Boyata played 17 games and scored once.

"Dedryck is still capable of a fantastic career in football," said Coyle, who is now manager of Houston Dynamo in the United States. "He will be a good signing for Celtic. He will be good for them and they will be good for him.

"I am glad that he's got a move to Celtic as he is a nice lad who's had a some bad luck with injuries. I brought him into Bolton and he played six games and did really well, and even scored against Chelsea, but picked up an injury. I had originally got him as cover because I thought we might lose Gary Cahill in the previous transfer window but Dedryck played alongside Gary and did well and then we sold Gary to Chelsea in the January window for £7m.

"He has shown his ability and his character, because he wants to play and be involved. He had a taste of it at Manchester City, but not as much as he wants. Before his injury he was in a terrific run of form and he will get back to that again. He has got everything in his locker to make a top player.

"Dedryck has not played a lot of games but there is still plenty of time. Cahill didn't get full established until he was 23 and centre-backs are definitely better with age.

"If you look at the way Celtic have given a platform to Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer to learn and progress, you can see that the chance will be there for Dedryck, too.

"His physical presence is the obvious stand-out quality and Dedryck is a real threat in the opposition box at set pieces, as he proved against Chelsea. But the big lad also has great technique - you would not be on Manchester City's books so long if you didn't have it - and pace, too.

"Dedryck had done really well at Manchster City the season before he came to Bolton, when he played about 20 times and that was also when he got his Belgian cap as well. Celtic fans will hopefully see the best him, over the next four years, once he grows in confidence."