Boli Bolingoli knock could give Greg Taylor his big Celtic break

By David Walton

November 3, 2019

Boli Bolingoli’s injury knock ahead of Thursday night’s clash with Lazio screams like it’s a disaster.

After all, Boli has played the vast majority of games for the Hoops this season. He’s the club’s number one left-back, and appears to be growing into the jersey on a game-by-game basis.

The early struggles the Belgian had at Parkhead have now disappeared. He’s looking more confident the more he plays for the club, and his adaption period appears to be just about over.

Boli has settled right in at Parkhead (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Therefore, to lose him for such a key contest such as Thursday’s Europa League encounter, you can see why some would be a tad nervous. Neil Lennon’s already confirmed it could be a strong possibility (Evening Times).

However, Celtic have more than enough cover available to compensate for Boli missing out. Sure, it may not be ideal, but Neil Lennon potentially has three alternatives he can use if he deems necessary.

First of all, Greg Taylor has been included in our Europa League squad. He’s available to take part despite making just one appearance for the club. The fact he hasn’t played more often will be a big worry for some supporters. However, just look at Ryan Christie last season.

Greg Taylor is available for selection (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Inverness and Aberdeen ace had only made a handful of substitute appearances before bursting onto the scene against Hearts. Granted, he had more game-time than Taylor has currently managed, but it’s proof that chances are there to be taken.

If Lenny selects Taylor to take the place of Boli this Thursday, it could easily be the making of him as a Celtic player.

Other alternatives to Greg Taylor?

Of course there are other alternatives too.

Jonny Hayes has played in the position reliably in the past too. He featured against Valencia away from home in last season’s Europa League and didn’t let anyone down. He’s proven against top opposition that he can take the heat.

Jonny Hayes is another proven alternative (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Lenny also has the perhaps cursed option of playing Callum McGregor there too. Considering the stick he took for the decision after the Cluj defeat back in August, however, you can expect him not to touch that idea.

But both Taylor and Hayes are viable candidates to replace Boli. It’s no disaster if the Belgian is missing the contest, even if it isn’t ideal either. All it means is that there’s a golden opportunity for another talented footballer to seize upon.

Hopefully, if Boli is out, Lenny gives Taylor the vote of confidence. After all, he’s supposed to be next in line. Why not see what he’s got against this level of opposition?