Now captain of Lyon, Denayer has moved onto pastures new since his impressive stint for the Hoops during the 2014/15 season, which saw the 24-year-old collect the award for Scotland’s Young Player of the Year.
However, Denayer has now explained how the move came about and it turns out France legend Vieira played a pretty significant role in ensuring Denayer moved to Glasgow.
Back in 2014, Denayer was a youth team player at Man City, where Vieira had began coaching after calling time on his glittering playing career, and the Belgium international recalls, via the Sun: “I was at Manchester City and during the summer of 2014 and Patrick Vieira came to my house.
“He said to me, ‘Look, the Celtic coach has called me’. He had already watched me in reserve games.
“Patrick said, ‘He is interested in you and you have to go to Celtic – it will be a great experience’.
“For me, it was a big thing to make the transition between the young teams and first team.
“I didn’t think twice about it and I went to Celtic.
“It was more difficult to adapt than I thought, because I did not speak English very well.
“There were no French speakers so I had to work a lot on communication.
“But in terms of football, I settled very quickly after scoring in my first game.
“I had a fantastic season at Celtic. We won trophies and it was great for me.”
Denayer won plaudits and became a fan favourite for his commanding displays at centre-back in Ronny Deila’s team, where he struck up a pretty formidable partnership with a certain Virgil van Dijk.
Judging by his warm comments, do you think there’s a chance we could ever seen Denayer potentially pull on the Hoops once again in the future?
Let us know in the comments section below…