It's hard to know what plans Celtic boss has for Boli Bolingoli

By Euan Davidson

August 5, 2021

What’s the story with Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli?

With the backing of his colleagues, and a sizeable contingent of the support if Instagram is anything to go by, the former starting left-back has come in from the cold, to a degree.

Without labouring the point, it wasn’t just cold, it was sub-zero. There were, and remain, some who never want to see Bolingoli in a Celtic shirt again. Yet, he’s pulled on the Hoops in pre-season, and looks as just a part of the squad as anyone else.

While it’s too early to say anything committal about Greg Taylor’s future, after a decent season in the Hoops, there’s been consistent speculation regarding left-backs.

Aaron Hickey doesn’t look like leaving Bologna. However, Hibs’ Josh Doig remains a link. Taylor and Academy talent Adam Montgomery starred in the left-back slot during pre-season, owing to Bolingoli regaining fitness, as much as anything else.

What if, though, Celtic do bring in another left-back? With the ex-Rapid Vienna man clearly the second or third choice already, it would surely leave his Celtic future in a precarious position.

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Anyone waiting on a Boli Bolingoli redemption story at Celtic, then, could well be left disappointed.

Boli Bolingoli does actually seem like a good for Postecoglou’s Celtic

For all the talk about inverted full-backs, it’s kind of a role Bolingoli played in 19-20. The Belgian defender loved to cut inside, provide an overlap for the left winger, and generally involve himself in attacking play.

Additionally, he’s more than capable of working in more central half-spaces and moving the ball on in possession. So, as a system fit, you’d have thought Postecoglou might be willing to give him a shot.

Surely, though, that won’t be the case if Celtic bring someone else in at that position. Frustratingly, we have three decent left-backs, and very sparse options on the other side.

Photo by BSR Agency/Getty Images

Does Postecoglou have a plan for Boli Bolingoli? Honestly, from a narrative point of view, you’d have thought so. The Greek-Aussie boss loves fighting adversity, and if there was anyone needing a feel-good comeback story in the Celtic dressing room, it’s surely Boli.

For supporters, it’d be interesting at least to remind ourselves what Bolingoli’s strengths and weaknesses are. It feels like an age since we last saw him complete 90 minutes in the Hoops.

Given the initial outlay, a reported £3m [Sun], and his wages, it would be a waste to let Boli Bolingoli flounder on the bench. After a mixed, rather unlucky spell in Turkey last season, the guy needs game time. If he wants to prove himself to the supporters again, then it’s up to Postecoglou whether he deserves that opportunity.

In the Celtic boss’ system, it might actually end up being a good idea.

In other news: New Bhoy shows willing after move