Boli Bolingoli speaks after permanent Celtic exit; Mechelen explain signing to supporters

By John McGinley

July 12, 2022

Boli Bolingoli has signed for Belgian top-flight side KV Mechelen on a two-year contract, ending his spell at Celtic for good.

Bolingoli was signed by Neil Lennon in 2019 but was rarely convincing and ultimately fell foul of the club’s Covid-19 restrictions in 2020.

He never really recovered from that hidden trip to Spain after it became public knowledge. His fringe status resulted in loan spells to Turkey and Russia, save for a short period when he was a squad option for Ange Postecoglou.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Now though he’s away and off the wage bill for good, which is undoubtedly a positive for Celtic. He hadn’t even been part of the club’s pre-season trip to Austria.

Bolingoli has a family connection to Mechelen, with his uncle Roger Lukaku featuring for the club in the 1990s.

Explaining his decision to make the switch back to Belgium, Bolingoli told the club’s official website: “I haven’t talked to Roger yet about KV Mechelen. I was just looking for a club where you feel like a family. From the first contact that was immediately clear. I want to play again and have fun. That’s my first goal at KV.”

Meanwhile, Mechelen sporting director Tom Caluwe spoke up the signing, stating: “Boli knows what it is to play under pressure. Club, Celtic, Rapid, they are all top teams in their league.

“And then there are his matches in the Champions League and the Europa League. He can give us an extra impulse both defensively and offensively.”

We hold no grudges here so while he wasn’t a very good signing for Celtic, we wish him all the best in the future and hope he finds what he’s looking for at Mechelen.

In other news, Scottish Premiership teams ramp up transfer work as Celtic prepare to defend title.