Greg Taylor not expecting immediate Celtic place

By David Walton

September 11, 2019

Greg Taylor’s place in the Celtic team won’t come easily, and the player himself has acknowledged that.

The Parkhead side secured Taylor on deadline-day for an undisclosed fee. However, reports had Killie demanding £3million for his services in the run-up to the deal (The Herald).

His main competition for a place at Parkhead will be fellow new-signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo. Since his arrival in the summer, the Belgian has played all but one of Celtic’s competitive matches.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo has earned the right to be called Celtic’s number one left-back (Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

And, speaking in the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 10, Page 23), Taylor was happy to acknowledge that he won’t just jump straight in ahead of Boli.

“Competition improves every player and there are other players here. I’m not daft enough to think I’m walking into a jersey. It’s up to me to earn the right to get that jersey and I hope to do that.

“This move can help me raise my level and hopefully that helps on the international scene as well. I’ve been in a more defensive team in Kilmarnock and I would like to think that I have learned my trade well. But I’m going to a team now that sees more of the ball in attack than Kilmrnock.

“You get more of the ball here so it’s up to me to show that part of my game as well.”

Boli’s Ibrox display has changed the complexion of Taylor’s arrival

Boli produced what can only be described as his best outing yet in a Celtic jersey. The Belgian managed to thwart the threat of Sheyi Ojo, and look as composed as he’s ever looked since arriving.

Therefore, the arrival of Taylor isn’t the saving grace that many Celtic fans thought at first. It looks like he may indeed have a big battle on his hands, with Boli currently earning the right to be first-choice.

Greg Taylor has plenty of experience in Scottish football (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But Taylor has real experience of Scottish football. That could prove to be a big advantage to him in his fight with the Belgian. Taylor managed 131 appearances with Killie, and was certainly a huge part of the famous back-four of Steve Clarke’s.

Now, Taylor has to step it up. The player makes a great point when he touches on having to show what he’s all about going forward. For all of Boli’s early-season mistakes defensively, he’s looked impressive going forward. He has pace, directness, and plenty of energy.

Who will Neil Lennon choose to play at Hamilton? (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s all just great news for Celtic in any case. After huge fears over not having enough quality at left-back, we now look to have two top players vying for the spot.

All eyes will be on who starts at Hamilton on Saturday. Taylor may not expect it, but his experience with artificial surfaces could perhaps give him the edge regardless.