AS Roma Make Contact With This Celtic Defender: Should Lennon Look To Cash In Here? 

AS Roma Have Held Initial Talks With Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli - Bolingoli in action
AIK's Henok Goitom vies with Celtic's Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo during the UEFA Europa League play-off, second leg football match between AIK and Celtic FC at Friends Arena, on August 29, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Jonas EKSTROMER / various sources / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo credit should read JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Italian source Tutto Mercato Web, Serie A giants AS Roma are said to have conducted initial talks with Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli. The report suggests that the Italian side are looking at the Belgian defender and that further discussions have been planned at a later point in the week. It has been claimed that the Celtic man is being targeted as a replacement for veteran full-back Aleksandar Kolarov, who was recently confirmed to have made the permanent switch across the country to join Inter Milan.

Although the report has clarified that AS Roma have held initial talks with Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli, whether or not Lennon is willing to sanction this sale in the middle of a league season remains to be seen. Bolingoli’s talents are said to have drawn the Serie A side’s attention towards his fragile situation at Parkhead.

While the talks between the player and Roma are likely to continue, it must be considered that the Italian side aren’t the only team in for his services. There has been sustained interest from the likes of Basaksehir in Turkey, and Anderlecht and Royal Antwerp, both in his home country of Belgium.

What Is Boli Bolingoli’s Status As A Celtic Player?

The Belgian was brought into the team by Neil Lennon last summer, and it’s safe to say that the defender is yet to nail down a regular place in the Parkhead setup. Despite showing various glimpses of attacking brilliance during his early days at the club, an apparent lack of determination and consistency hurt his place in the starting lineup significantly. Having made the switch from Rapid Vienna, a lot was expected of the Belgian, but he just wasn’t able to deliver. Bolingoli played only 14 times in the league last season, with a number of those appearances coming off the bench.

AS Roma Have Held Initial Talks With Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli - Bolingoli in action
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 29: Boli Bolingoli of Celtic and Ryan Kent of Rangers battle for possession during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on December 29, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Belgian’s Celtic career so far has yielded just 29 appearances in total, with not a single goal to show for his efforts. Despite getting four assists along the way, at no point has it looked like Bolingoli has the quality required to take over from young Greg Taylor as the first-choice down the flank. The recent incident involving the 25-year-old has done little to help his cause, and the possibility of him ever playing a game for Celtic again is looking bleak. With no apparent future at the club, a move away could be the best option at this point.

What Makes Bolingoli A Good Option For AS Roma?

The former Brugge man arrived at Parkhead with a lofty reputation for being an attack-minded full-back. There was talk of him developing into quite the player for the Celts, but as it turned out, he wasn’t able to break into the first-team. Despite this, there is no denying the obvious quality that he possesses. Bolingoli is capable of bombarding forward and causing opposition defenders all kinds of problems with his movement and pace. A good crosser of the ball, the Belgian’s biggest selling point must be the fact that he can get forward just as well as he can track back and win the ball.

AS Roma Have Held Initial Talks With Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli: Can Lennon Afford To Cash In?

As of now, Greg Taylor is the only alternate option that is available for Neil Lennon for the role. Hatem Abd Elhamed has slotted in at right-back on a couple of occasions this season, which presumably means that he is perfectly capable of playing on the left if required. Despite this, going into a long and strenuous league campaign with just one natural left-back to choose from would be asking for trouble. As much as they do need to keep two left-backs in the roster, Bolingoli’s actions were inexcusable, to say the least. Celtic should cash in on the Belgian, and use the money raised to try and find a replacement before the transfer window closes.

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