This summer will be one of change for Celtic. No longer is Neil Lennon in charge and Peter Lawwell will also be gone.
The club’s maligned CEO is set to retire and be replaced by Dominic McKay in a few months time.
One of his first priorities must be to address the playing squad. It’s set to be a hectic period for the Bhoys with as many as 12 players potentially facing the exit door.
Considering the importance of top scorer Edouard and the defensive rock Ajer, Celtic will be desperate to hold onto them.
One area of the squad they may need to improve is at left-back. When Diego Laxalt heads back to AC Milan following the conclusion of his loan spell, it will leave Greg Taylor and Boli Bolingoli as their options.
The Hoops have been linked with a switch for French full-back Romain Perraud and if he joins, it will surely be the end of the road for Bolingoli.
Regardless of whether Perraud joins, though, the Belgian must face the exit door. The 25-year-old had one campaign at Paradise before being shipped out to Istanbul Basaksehir last summer.
It was a moment of madness from the left-back that cost him his place in the side, and arguably, should cost him his future at the club as a whole.
During the height of the pandemic last summer, Bolingoli took the decision to go on an unsanctioned trip to Spain. When the left-back returned, he failed to quarantine, trained with the squad, and even appeared off the substitute’s bench against Kilmarnock days later.
Unbeknown to Lennon until after the game, he had spent 24 hours in Spain, ultimately putting not only the entire Celtic squad and coaching staff at risk, but also the Killie players and staff. It was a moment that put the entire of the SPFL in grave danger too.
The former Celtic boss called him “stupid” and then added: “This has been premeditated. You don’t book a flight to Spain on a whim. He knew exactly what he was doing. So this has been quite calculated. It’s been total disregarding of the outcome and the risks involved, so he will be dealt with in the strongest possible way by the club.”
Celtic were quick to condemn the player’s actions with a statement at the time reading: “All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for Covid-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player’s actions.”
Bolingoli was rightfully sent on his way but he is still technically a Celtic player. This may come as a shock to see that the £15k-per-week defender wasn’t ousted completely but the time for that will surely come next summer. It’s not as though he provided the Hoops with many game-changing moments on the pitch either.
He has featured in just 14 matches since signing from Rapid Vienna in 2019. With Taylor improving on a regular basis, it makes it even harder to picture a future for Bolingoli in Glasgow. The former has amassed 16 tackles at a rate of 2.2 per game in his last seven starts for instance.
Taylor has to be the number one left-back over Bolingoli; there is no future for him at Parkhead.