Exclusive: Austrian football expert Tim Armitage on Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo
Celtic look set to seal their third signing of the summer with a move for Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo. The 24-year-old Rapid Vienna full-back is expected to join Neil Lennon’s men in the coming days ahead of next week’s Champions League opener against FK Sarajevo.
Not a great deal is known about Bolingoli-Mbombo other than the fact he is the cousin of Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku. We went digging at 67HH and spoke to Austrian football expert Tim Armitage (@FussballTim_ on Twitter) to find out more.
67HH: Thanks for speaking to us Tim. First of all, what can you tell us about Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo?
TA: He’s a rapid left-sided player. He used to play as a winger as a youngster and has been gradually moved backwards as his career has progressed.
Naturally he’s a very aggressive defensive player. His main strength is his pace. That means that he is really dangerous going forward and even though he’s not the best defender, his pace can get himself out of trouble quite often.
Celtic are going to get a pretty attack-minded full-back, for sure.
67HH: That all sounds pretty promising. Is there anything we should be wary of?
TA: There’s not too much in terms of negative stories about him. He seems like a fun character and generally looks to have a good attitude.
I’m not totally sure how he’s going to find moving to Scotland and living in Glasgow to be honest. But I think Celtic are getting a pretty professional player.
A few people have been put off because he’s not a defensive defender. It’s not as if he can’t defend, he’s just better going forward. His crossing and final ball isn’t always the best so that’s something he needs to work on.
67HH: What has the reaction from Rapid fans been like? Are they sad to see him go?
TA: The Rapid support are a bit annoyed that he’s being allowed to leave, to be honest. He’s definitely one of their better players and one of the best left-backs in Austria.
It’s been rumoured that he was going to move on at some point and the fee reported is a really healthy one for an Austrian club. So there are some positives on that side of things too.