Neil Lennon says Celtic will monitor Boli Bolingoli; states he didn't see him before Istanbul move

By David Walton

September 16, 2020

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has stated that he didn’t see Boli Bolingoli before his move to Istanbul Basaksehir, but that the club will keep tabs on his progress.

Boli’s departure this summer was inevitable after he breached strict quarantine regulations upon returning from a secret trip to Spain. That move was completed at the weekend when the Belgian signed for the Turkish Super Lig outfit on loan with an option to buy.

Such was the level of anger from the supporters over Boli’s breach (Celtic had to postpone two games because of it), it seems ridiculous to even suggest that the left-back will ever play for the club again.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli let his side down / (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Lennon, however, moved to confirm that his progress will be monitored in Turkey.

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As quoted by The Herald, the Hoops boss said: “It’s done and he has made a mistake. He’s a human being, it’s a human error and it cost us at the time.

“It was a couple of games we are now endeavouring to make up. He has a new challenge now in his career, a loan with an option to buy.

“I never for the chance to see him (before he left for Turkey), because of what’s going on. But obviously we will be keeping an eye on his progress.”

There’s only one way this truly ends

Now that Boli has left, albeit temporarily, we know how this will go. Things will go quiet for most of the campaign as the Belgian tries to rebuild his reputation in Turkey, with not much being said about him in Scotland.

However, when he eventually does come back, he’ll be straight back out again whenever Celtic get the chance to agree to a new deal. Whether Istanbul are impressed enough to take up their option to buy the player or not, there’s only one way this ends – a permanent move somewhere.

A popular turn of phrase when talking about a potentially unrealistic event is that “stranger things have happened”. Well, it’s difficult to think of many other stranger things happening in football that would trump Boli turning his Parkhead career around and being a star for us once again.

Neil Lennon wasn’t happy with Bolingoli / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Of course, we don’t wish him badly when it comes to his performance levels in Turkey. We want all of our stars who are out on loan to make a success of it.

But when he returns, it just isn’t plausible to think he’ll be integrated back into pre-season training and be given another shot. He’s left a taste in the mouth that’s far too bitter to remove.

In other news, there have reportedly been talks between the SPFL and Scottish government regarding a possible return for fans to Celtic Park.