Alan Stubbs questions Neil Lennon's input in Celtic signings

By Hamish Carton

August 14, 2019

Former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs reckons questions should be asked of the club’s recruitment following the Champions League exit to Cluj.

Manager Neil Lennon benched two of his biggest summer signings – Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and Christopher Jullien – in the home defeat to the Romanians. Neither even came on in Celtic’s moment of need and Stubbs reckons that poses serious questions about the club’s recruitment.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“It possibly raises questions about was, or is, Neil working that closely with head of recruitment Nick Hammond,” he told BBC Scotland.

“If he [Bolingoli] has been brought in, then how much input has Neil had into that? As a manager you need to be working very closely to make sure the players that are coming in have your blessing and you are very comfortable.

“Because if it hasn’t been Neil’s signing, is that one of the reasons he’s not got 100% faith in playing him in potentially Celtic’s biggest game of the season?”

(Photo by Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Stubbs is right to question what’s going on

It’s probably pretty fair to assume the likes of Bolingoli and Jullien weren’t Neil Lennon signings. The Northern Irishman has a decent football knowledge but you doubt he’s seen both players in action prior to their Celtic moves.

That point is kind of irrelevant though. What matters is that both could and should have been in the starting line-up for the Cluj clash. Bolingoli hasn’t been great in his first few matches for the club but he would surely have offered more than an out of position Callum McGregor.

(Photo by Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What does it say about the Belgian’s future when he is benched for a midfielder in such a big game?

Jullien is an altogether different story. The big French defender should have been shoe-horned into the team pretty much from the minute he signed. He played just one of our six Champions League qualifiers and that was the dead rubber in Estonia.

What was the point in signing him to have him sit on the bench? Especially when we conceded four goals at home.