Saturday, June 10, 2023

Forgotten Celtic Defender Does Not Have A Future At Parkhead: Right Call From Postecoglou?

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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.

If a report from  The Athletic is believed to be true, Celtic chief Ange Postecoglou has decided to freeze out Boli Bolingoli after the left-back failed to find a new suitor during the summer window. The gaffer opted not to rope in someone to challenge and cover Greg Taylor. Instead, he would rather bank on 19-year-old Adam Montgomery and newly recruited right fullback Josip Juranović over the forgotten Belgian.

The 26-year-old returned to Celtic following an underwhelming loan stint with İstanbul Başakşehir. He was offloaded to Turkey for breaching Covid protocols a year ago and as things stand, Bolingoli does not have a future at Parkhead unless a dramatic turn of events takes place in the coming days.

Although the gaffer handed him a place in the matchday squad on a few occasions, the decision to replace injured Taylor with Montgomery against AZ Alkmaar suggests that the former Rapid Wien star is no more in Postecoglous’s plans. He rather deployed Juranović as a left-back in the Old Firm derby and is now expected to keep the £15,000-per-week defender away from the first-team picture indefinitely.

Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli in action
CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA – DECEMBER 12: Celtics Boli Bolingoli during the UEFA Europa League group E match between CFR Cluj and Celtic FC at Dr.-Constantin-Radulescu-Stadium on December 12, 2019 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. SPO, SOC, FOC PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xMBxMediax

Bolingoli was roped in as the potential successor of Kieran Tierney who left for Arsenal. His reputation in Belgium with Club Brugge and Rapid Vienna (in Austria) earned him a £3m Glasgow swoop a couple of summers ago. However, he could not cement a starting status following an array of erroneous outcomes and was involved only 28 times across competitions.

What’s Next For Bolingoli

Taylor, meanwhile, is more of a stable alternative compared to the former Belgium U16 international. He is not the most effective in terms of creating chances with overlapping runs, yet does the job by balancing his game between defence and attack. Teenage academy prodigy Montgomery is attuning to senior football with crucial minutes and Bolingoli, therefore, might get demoted to the reserves until the window reopens in January.

Celtic have bolstered every other area with 12 new signings apart from the left-back spot. They generated enough cash from players’ sales and were well-positioned financially to tie down another new name. The Hoops were reportedly keen on Josh Doig and Aaron Hickey, but a move did not materialize in due course.

While they did not receive any offer for Bolingoli all summer, it’s high time for the player and his agent to secure a winter transfer. He is fighting a lost battle with the manager who is happy with makeshift options.

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