Recent Celtic signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo expects higher Scottish football standard

By Hamish Carton

July 5, 2019

Celtic’s latest signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo reckons he can learn a lot from his brief experience of Scottish football last season.

The 24-year-old Belgian featured in both of his former side Rapid Vienna’s Europa League clashes against Rangers last year. Bolingoli-Mbombo came on as a substitute in the Austrian’s Ibrox defeat while he played the full match as they exacted revenge in the return fixture two months later.

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

He may only have played 18 minutes in the Glasgow clash but the fervent nature of the Scottish supporters still left a mark.

The Belgian told the Daily Record: “The atmosphere was not bad at all and it was a tough game.

“You see the level is a little bit higher here than in Austria, so it was good to play against this team so I can see a little of what the competition is going to be like.”

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

Is Bolingoli-Mbombo right about Scottish football?

The Austrian and Scottish top-flights are probably a pretty similar standard. If anything the Austrian league has outshone Scotland in recent years on the continental stage.

Bolingoli-Mbombo’s old side Rapid have helped to push their nation into 12th place in the UEFA coefficients while Scotland languish eight places back in 20th.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

In fact, the Austrian’s lofty position means that their champions – Red Bull Salzburg – automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage this coming season. What Celtic would do for a similar scenario.

In terms of Celtic’s new Belgian, hopefully he can use his recent Scottish experience to his advantage.