Celtic loanee Boli Bolingoli back training after four months out

By David Walton

April 21, 2021

Celtic loanee Boli Bolingoli appears to have ended his fourth-month injury hell after finally returning to full training.

Bolingoli has been spending the campaign with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir after Celtic sent him away due to a Covid breach at the start of the season.

Things started off well for the Belgian, who managed to make 13 appearances before a nasty knee injury kept him sidelined since December. The injury occurred in a Champions League match against PSG.

However, it finally looks as though the left-back is ready to return to the fold for the Turkish outfit. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Istanbul boss Aykut Kocaman said: “Boli has returned to full training. He won’t make the match against Kasimpasa this week, but he will be back in the squad very soon.

“He is an important player for us and we need as many players as possible. This was a season that started with the club in the Champions League and now we are battling relegation so we need everyone.”

Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli has a massive battle on his hands

As things stand, Boli’s side are currently two points behind safety with a game in-hand. Considering they have seven games remaining this term, there’s still plenty of time for Basaksehir to get out of trouble.

And Boli will surely be itching to play his part. He was proving to be an important player both domestically and in Europe for his loan club. With a bit of luck, he’ll go right back into the side when he returns.

It looks as though the first game he’ll be available for is Istanbul’s home clash with Alanyaspor on Sunday. How much he plays of it remains to be seen given the length of time he’s been out injured.

Celtic exile Bolingoli / (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

When he returns this summer, Boli will have a further two years on his contract. On reflection, he was dealt with a lot more harshly than certain others who broke Covid regulations in Scotland. Granted, that doesn’t answer the question of whether he’s even good enough to be playing for Celtic.

With so much change over the summer, he’ll have to impress the new manager to a considerable degree. He does have the bonus of being the club’s only left-back outside of Greg Taylor of course. With Diego Laxalt heading back to AC Milan this summer, we’ve likely seen the last of him.

Of course, we can’t forget that Istanbul do indeed have an option-to-buy. Whether they’ll take it up, however, is massively up for debate. And where Boli sees his long-term future, nobody knows.

In other news, we take a look at three young Scottish talents Celtic should take a look at this summer.