Celtic man Boli Bolingoli is having a bizarre, unlucky time in Turkey

By Euan Davidson

May 5, 2021

Poor old Celtic man Boli Bolingoli.

We’ve all done daft things for “love”, and for Bolingoli, an ill-advised trip to Spain was that daft thing [Herald]. You know that story already, so we won’t dwell on it.

Then, after that notable indiscretion, Bolingoli got an absolute gift: Champions League football with Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir. Though, not long into his delightful Turkish sojourn, the left-back picked up a horrendous injury, leaving him out for four months.

Ok, fine: another set-back. But surely, playing for last season’s Turkish champions, it’ll be a relatively comfortable season? A chance to impress, eventually, and to repair a damaged image after his internationally renowned flit to Spain? According to the current Super Lig table [BBC], not so much.

Essentially, Bolingoli’s side have three pivotal matches to avoid relegation. And they have to do that without star striker Demba Ba [Goal]. The former Chelsea and Newcastle United man had his contract terminated by mutual consent, having not received assurances of playing time.

It seems like, at every turn, Bolingoli’s post-Celtic career is riddled with poor luck.

It’s not been much fun for Boli Bolingoli / (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Boli Bolingoli unlikely to be able to rescue Istanbul Basaksehir single-handedly

Bolingoli, in an injury-ravaged season, has only managed 16 appearances [Transfermarkt]. To say it’s not gone according to the script for the Celtic loanee would be underselling it quite a bit.

As for his loan side; their last three matches are against Sivasspor, Kayserispor and Rizespor. That’s a difficult ask, with Sivasspor riding high in fifth, while fellow relegation candidates Kayserispor have already beaten Bolingoli’s side this season. Meanwhile, Rizespor are in a similarly precarious position, and will be desperate for a win against last year’s champions.

It’s an odd, and thrilling end to the Super Lig season. At the top end of the table, Besiktas look comfortable favourites, with a four point lead over Fenerbache, who are battling with Galatasaray who are just one point behind them.

Perhaps, though, it’s looking up for Bolingoli and Basaksehir. Since returning to the first team, they’ve drawn one and won twice, just the kind of form they need to absolutely ensure safety.

Maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

READ MORE: “Phenomenal”; BBC man’s verdict on shining light of Celtic season