Dedryck Boyata left Belgium to join Manchester City’s academy in 2006.
After being promoted to the first team for the 2009/10 season, the defender didn’t get regular playing time, which is why he had to go out on loan to Bolton Wanderers and FC Twente between 2011 and 2013.
After returning to the Etihad, the 28-year-old struggled for regular minutes and he finally left the Premier League outfit for Celtic in 2015.
Since joining the Scottish side, Boyata has been in fine form for the Bhoys and has also represented Belgium at the 2018 World Cup.
According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the centre-back’s father Bienvenu Boyata now regrets the decision to allow his son to join the English champions more than a decade ago.
The report claims that Bienvenu is of the belief that his son would have reached higher heights, if he had snubbed the lucrative offer from City in 2006 and joined another club in Belgium.
“At that moment, you say: Wow, what a great opportunity. But the problem was that there were hardly any examples,” Bienvenu explained.
“You had Jelle Van Damme (who went to Southampton at the age of 20 and hardly played there), but for the rest? We did not ask too many questions.”
“It was financially attractive and it all sounded great. Especially because it was such a big club. If it was a smaller club, we might not have done it.
“I just want to warn the young players about the possible dangers. They have to realise that you will get a chance in Belgium sooner.”
“As I said, he still made a career. But he could have stood further now, when he’s 28.
“If he had stayed longer in Belgium, like Youri Tielemans or Dennis Praet. Or [Romelu] Lukaku and [Kevin] De Bruyne, who eventually made it in England, but not at Chelsea.”