Neil Lennon signing Boli Bolingoli was, at one point, a regular in the manager’s Celtic team this season.
Arriving last summer, he went on to make 28 appearances for the Bhoys before dropping out of the team due to injury.
He was deemed important enough to feature in the draw against Rennes and wins over Cluj and Lazio, taking his place on the left-hand side of a four-man defensive line.
That’s not to say every performance he’s produced has been impressive. It’s fair to say he’s had his ups and downs in the first-team this term.
However, it’s a struggle to figure out why he’s been almost completely absent over the last two months, save for a single appearance against lower-league side Clyde in the Scottish Cup.
Fitness issues may have played their part but he’s been deemed ready enough for matches to be named on benches against Motherwell, Copenhagen and Kilmarnock last month, without getting any minutes.
Is it time to bring him back into the fold?
Could he thrive in a 3-5-2?
Bolingoli is an attack-minded left-back. In fact, during his run of initial appearances, he had to be persuaded to not move as far forward up the pitch with and without the ball as much as he was (Daily Record).
His abilities seem very suitable for the 3-5-2 formation that Lennon has utilised since the turning of the year, perhaps able to give the Hoops a real threat on the left flank that could punish teams.
Greg Taylor, who has had his own impressive and less impressive performances recently, ironically appears to be far more suited to the 4-2-3-1 that dominated the early part of our season when he couldn’t get a game.
The former Kilmarnock man’s performance left a lot to be desired on Sunday against St Johnstone and while overall his progress looks positive, upcoming matches against Livingston and St Mirren look like a good opportunity to once against test out the Belgian.
Trust in Lennon
Ultimately Lennon will have his own, likely complex, reasons for not turning to Bolingoli in recent months and that has to be trusted.
The Celtic manager hasn’t faltered much in domestic competition since arriving last year after all.
However, Bolingoli represented a pretty significant outlay in the transfer market, reported to have joined for £3m (Daily Record).
It’d be a shame to see his career at Celtic Park completely stagnate.
He could provide just the kind of freshness we need in Lennon’s eleven to keep competition levels high and see us play with new ideas over coming matches.