Friday, July 1, 2022

Celtic Set To Rival Napoli For This Ace Fullback: The Perfect Potential Replacement Of Tierney?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Despite conquering a historic treble ‘treble’, Celtic are yet to step up the chase for their prime transfer targets. While Rangers have roped in an array of new names already, the Hoops are battling it out to keep hold of their key performers amid interest from the English giants. They are closing in on teenage sensation David Turnbull but, at the same time, might have to part ways with Kieran Tierney prior to the upcoming campaign.

Although they are likely to reject (as reported by the Times) a second bid from Arsenal for the homegrown prodigy, an alternative is already being assessed as per the latest rumours. According to the Mail, Celtic are weighing up a move for the Rapid Wien left-back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo who is enjoying a blistering spell with the Austrian heavyweights since leaving his boyhood side Club Brugge a couple of summers ago.

The 23-year-old Belgian is rated for his attacking intent, pace, overlapping runs, constant movements down the flank as well as pinpoint crosses. His ability to score goals, link up high up the pitch and cut inside from the wide areas should see him replicating a similar impact as Tierney has done in recent years.

Celtic, however, might have to compete with Napoli for the promising prospect. The Serie A side are also keen on securing his services for a reported fee of around £3m – a minuscule figure in spite of having a couple of years left in his current contract at the Allianz Stadion.

A move to Napoli would see him playing for iconic Carlo Ancelotti at the zenith of European football, but the champions of Scotland would offer him guaranteed minutes and title assurance more than any other potential suitors. A recent report from The Sun claimed Burnley’s interest in Mbombo along with Huddersfield Town who, however, have fallen short in the race following their relegation from Premier League last season.

Sean Dyche, meanwhile, has confirmed the egress of veteran Stephen Ward and is aiming for a new inclusion to cover and challenge Charlie Taylor. But the Clarets struggled during the previous term having finished 15th in the league standings and their ultra-defensive strategy might force the youngster to forgo his spontaneity while featuring as a fullback.

Mbombo, a cousin of the Lukaku brothers, should ply his trade to Parkhead to flourish his game furthermore under Neil Lennon, the new Celtic chief who has earned recognition for promoting the youth throughout his coaching career.

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