Celtic star could be the Kompany stand-in Manchester City need

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When Belgium host Cyprus in their latest Euro 2016 qualifier in Brussels this Saturday, Manchester City fans may be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

Facing off against qualification dark horses Cyprus – a side that has already beaten Bosnia-Herzegovina on the road – the game could provide a real test of both the Red Devils’ and City’s defensive credentials.

After all, with Vincent Kompany captain and in the midst of arguably his worst spell at the Etihad, the fixture could offer either welcome relief or further misery for the 28-year-old.

But despite the City captain taking much of the focus, fans would also be wise to keep a close eye on fellow Sky Blues star Jason Denayer.

Selected as part of the Belgium squad not only facing a tricky Cyprus outfit but also the similarly underestimated Israel, the 19-year-old’s fortunes could not be more contrasted to those of Kompany.

Loaned out to Celtic for the season having impressed throughout his time with the Manchester City elite development squad, Denayer has been one of the stars of the Bhoys’ season so far.

Things certainly started with a bang for the Belgian, who scored and was named man of the match on his Scottish Premiership debut – a 6-1 victory over supposed rivals Dundee United.

Already a Scottish League Cup winner with the Hoops, Denayer and Celtic remain on course for a domestic treble, with the 19-year-old forming a successful partnership with Virgil van Dijk.

Eventually, his form for the Glasgow side was enough to earn a full call-up to the national side under Marc Wilmots, though he has yet to earn a cap.

Expected back at the Etihad on a permanent basis and in line for game time in the week to come, Denayer could be the defensive solution Manchester City have been searching for.

And this time, they won’t have to spend £30m or more to get him.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.