Exclusive: Austrian football expert on Mbombo's potential
Celtic have completed a deal for Rapid Vienna full-back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo. The Belgian will join up with Neil Lennon’s squad in time for Tuesday’s Champions League opener against FK Sarajevo.
Much has been made of the full-back’s potential to replace Kieran Tierney if the Scotland man departs this summer. But is Bolingoli-Mbombo ready? Well, 67HH spoke to Austrian football expert Tim Armitage (@FussballTim_ on Twitter) to find out.
67HH: One of Kieran Tierney’s greatest strengths is his ability to get forward in attack but also back in defence. Does Mbombo share the same traits?
TA: His work rate is pretty high. He generally likes to get forward so there are always going to be spaces left behind him. But he’s not a lazy player. It’s not as if he doesn’t track back or anything like that.
I think he’s 100% a potential replacement for Tierney. Bolingoli is 24 so he’s still got a good few years to progress. When he came to Rapid he was quite raw and tended to rely heavily on his pace.
67HH: So he’s improved significantly during his time in Austria? In what ways?
TA: He’s definitely improved with the ball at his feet and still has room to grow further. I think his pace will cause all sorts of issues in the Premiership and he should smash it.
In Europe, he’s still a decent enough player and helped Rapid to a good run in the Europa League last season.
He’s not going to be as good as Tierney but I think if Celtic can keep him long term he can have the potential to become one of your star players.