Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Boli Bolingoli is still in his thoughts between now and the end of the season.
The Belgian was Celtic’s first-choice left-back in the first half of the season. Signed for £3million from Rapid Vienna in the summer, Boli instantly became the club’s number one down the left in both domestic and European matches (The Herald).
He made 27 appearances during the first half of the season, but has only made one more since during a 90-minute outing against Clyde back in early February (Transfermarkt). Even more concerning is the fact that, in eight of our 10 matchday squads in the league since the winter break ended, Boli hasn’t even made the bench.
However, Lennon has confirmed that the player isn’t frozen out and remains in his thoughts. Speaking in comments published by the National, here’s what Lennon had to say:
“He is in and around it but the team is playing well so it’s been difficult for him to break back through. He’s still in my thoughts for between now and the end of the season.”
Positive words but no sign of Boli’s return anytime soon
These are, as you would expect, positive words from Lennon regarding Boli’s status. It makes it sound as though he’s going to be getting his chances between now and the end of the season.
However, there’s been nothing to suggest that he’s going to get a call to come back in anytime soon. Outside of the fact that he’s barely making any matchday squads, left wing-back rival Jonny Hayes is making them on a regular basis (Transfermarkt).
In addition to that, why would Lennon switch things up anytime soon? He wouldn’t go dropping Greg Taylor for Boli slap bang in the middle of the title run-in. Even if Taylor hasn’t been performing to his maximum recently, he’s still been part of this highly-successful and consistent Celtic side.
Therefore, even at this early stage, it looks as though Boli’s chances of breaking through and becoming a regular again won’t happen until the summer and pre-season. There is too much risk in throwing him back in from the cold between now and May.
For the player himself, it’s nice to hear these words from Lennon. It shows he isn’t being forgotten about and that he’ll likely get his chance when the time is right. But don’t expect a swift return to the starting XI anytime soon.
Do you want Boli to come right back in for Greg Taylor? When is he realistically going to get his chance? Give us your opinion in the comments below.