Barring a significant hiccup in Europe, Celtic have been on a roll in domestic games, and they are romping towards their 9th league title in a row. A treble is also on the cards as they made their way through to the next round in the Scottish Cup.
Lennon’s side have managed to rediscover their form since the winter break. His ploy of starting with 3-5-2 has paid rich dividends, and the team has adapted well to it. One player who has gone on to have a significant run in the first team is Greg Taylor.
The summer arrival was on the fringes of the squad in the first half of the campaign with Lennon preferring the likes of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and Jonny Hayes over him. However, Bolingoli has often failed to make the matchday squads of late. Given the price tag of £3m, many expected him to be the direct replacement for Kieran Tierney at left-back/left wing-back. But the chances have come few and far between for the Belgian left-back in the second half of the campaign.
Lennon talks about Bolingoli
Lennon recently said that the 24-year-old is in his thought, but he indicated that Bolingoli-Mbombo would find it hard to break into the team given Celtic’s current form. The Northern Irish boss said (Daily Record), “He is in and around it, but the team is playing well, so it’s been difficult for him to break back through. He’s still in my thoughts for between now and the end of the season.”
Where Bolingoli-Mbombo needs to improve?
Bolingoli-Mbombo made a few high profile errors early in his Celtic career which saw the Hoops crash out of the Champions League qualifiers. The Belgian rediscovered himself in the coming weeks and put in some assured displays. However, he always seemed vulnerable defensively as had the tendency of being caught out of position.
Greg Taylor has taken his chances well since then, and he has put in some committed performances. Bolingoli might have that extra pace or x-factor while going forward but Taylor seems to be a more well-rounded fullback with decent abilities at both ends of the pitch.
With Hayes also performing well from time to time, Bolingoli-Mbombo’s chances of establishing himself in the first-team look slim this season. However, the £3m signing could get his chance as Hayes’ contract is expiring in a few months, and there have been no reports of him extending his stay beyond this campaign. Given that he is 32, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Hoops part ways with Hayes in the coming months. That could open up Bolingoli’s path towards the first team, but he will need to bring defensive solidity to his game to dislodge Taylor from the first-team spot.