Celtic are reportedly in contract talks with left-back Greg Taylor over an extension on his current deal and this opens the door to a problem facing Ange Postecoglou during his first season in Scotland.
The Australian head coach has a number of players who will have one year left on their contracts at the end of the season, putting Celtic in a position where they need to either sell them or pin them down to fresh terms – as they are trying to do with Taylor.
James Forrest, Chris Jullien, Scott Bain, Tom Rogic, Nir Bitton and Boli Bolingoli are the first-team players out of contract in 2023, which means that a decision needs to be made over their futures sooner rather than later.
The player we are looking at today, however, is Bolingoli. He plays in the same position as Taylor and a contract for the 23-year-old Scotsman could all but spell the end for Romelu Lukaku’s cousin.
Put simply, the Belgian defender is not good enough to play for the club. The 26-year-old has failed to prove, when given the chance, that he has the quality to feature for Celtic on a regular basis and that is why Taylor earned his place in the side and is now set for a contract extension.
Bolingoli recorded a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.49 in his one Premiership appearance this term, ranking him 20th in the entire Celtic squad. That came after he played only once in the league last season before being loaned out to Basaksehir in Turkey. It didn’t get much better away from Parkhead with the Belgian averaging a disappointing rating of 6.63 in 12 appearances out on loan.
Basaksehir played him six times in the Champions League as he averaged a dreadful score of 6.38. This, along with his form for Celtic and in the Super Lig, shows that the defender does not deserve to be starting games for Postecoglou’s team.
Along with being unreliable on the pitch, Bolingoli let himself down off it last year. In August of 2020, he broke quarantine rules to travel to Spain without telling anyone and continued to train with Celtic after returning.
Hoops boss Neil Lennon made the club’s feelings on the matter clear, saying:
“We were absolutely livid, appalled. The club have been at the forefront of maintaining good practice, the protocols all in place, trying to get the game up and running and we have been bitterly and sorely let down by the selfish actions of one individual.”
Therefore, Postecoglou could benefit from deciding to cash in on Bolingoli in the January window.
He does not have the ability to make a positive impact on the pitch and his contract situation means that selling him sooner rather than later could increase the amount of money they get back for his services.