Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo has stated that becoming a Belgium internationalist isn’t on his radar for now.
The man Celtic signed this summer from Rapid Vienna has enjoyed a rollercoaster start to life at Parkhead. After some dodgy early performances from the left-back, however, he’s now become a Parkhead hero.
At the very least, Boli has confirmed his spot as Celtic’s number one left-back. But does he have international ambitions in his sights? Not yet apparently, as he continues to put all of his focus into being a success with Celtic.
Speaking in the Daily Record, Boli opened up on how he views his international future.
“My only focus is Celtic. If Belgium are going to call, they will. Of course, I’d be happy to be in the national squad but I need to show my quality here first.
“I feel like I can become a bigger player at Celtic and I’m not really looking at Belgium right now. I’m new at this club so I need to take small steps.
“I’m getting used to everything in Scotland but obviously I’d be open to that in the future. Belgium are quite good, aren’t they? But they don’t have enough good players, so I think I should be playing!”
Belgium call isn’t as laughable as some may think
You could be forgiven for reading that and sniggering at first glance. He’s only made 13 appearances for Celtic and has only become a seriously impressive figure in the last two.
But it’s clear he’s made improvements to his game over the last few weeks and now looks more than capable of being a reliable replacement for Kieran Tierney.
As for a Belgium call-up? Two words. Dedryck Boyata. He was hardly a fans-favourite at Celtic Park, yet still made a handful of appearances for his country during his time in Scotland. Why can’t Boli do the same if he continues his good form and performs consistently well?
Roberto Martinez has never been snobby about Scottish football. He’s always appreciated what our country has to offer. With Shaun Maloney as one of his assistants too, he could have an eye on Boli when the time comes.
Of course, we also have to be realistic. Belgium often play with a back three, with Jan Vertonghen the first-choice when it comes to the left-sided spot. Will Boli ever be good enough to feature? Who knows, but he is still some way off a call-up if we’re being fair.
His main focus should be on continuing to impress at Parkhead. And in fairness, that’s exactly what his line of thinking is in any case.