Exclusive: Austrian football expert on Mbombo's potential

By Hamish Carton

July 4, 2019

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.

(Photo by Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Markus Tobisch/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

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.

If you want to hear more Austrian football chat from Tim, you can follow him on Twitter – he’s @FussballTim_