Celtic player Boli Bolingoli visited Spain last month and then, on the subsequent weekend, took part in the SPFL fixture against Kilmarnock. He broke the Covid-19 protocols and risked the lives of his fellow players and staff as well as Kilmarnock players by taking part in the fixture. The SPFL have charged Celtic and the left-back faces charge from the Scottish FA.
Normally, a trip to Spain and a subsequent game of football the following weekend is pretty common for professional footballers. However, due to the ongoing pandemic disrupting daily life in general, such a move would be very risky, even if sufficient precautions were taken.
Having broken SFA and government guidelines by visiting a high-risk nation and not following quarantine protocol, the Parkhead bosses were furious with the Belgian and it could see him never play for the Hoops again. Following this, Boli Bolingoli has been tipped for a shock move to Roma, who view him as a replacement for the outgoing Aleksandar Kolarov, according to Tutto Mercato Web (via HITC).
Following his antics, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been left with only one left-back in Greg Taylor and has made the full-back position the priority signing in the remaining weeks of the summer transfer window.
The Hoops have already signed Shane Duffy from Brighton on a season-long loan deal, who should fortify the shaky defense at his disposal. Now, they have set their eyes on two exciting full-backs in their early 20s, who are looking to break into their first teams, as replacements for Boli Bolingoli.
Across the border, Celtic scouts have identified Charlton Athletic’s Alfie Doughty as a good replacement for the outgoing left-back. The 20-year-old started 20 of Charlton’s games in the Championship this season and finished with 2 goals and 4 assists to his name.
Better known for his attacking traits, Alfie Doughty can play on the left-side of midfield as well. The youngster is good at progressive passes as he is second only to Josh Cullen in crosses delivered per game as well as averaging 2 long balls per game he plays. While he doesn’t shirk off his defensive duties, he is still lacking in that department.
Fortunately, he has time on his side to grow and in a depleted Celtic squad, he would slot in comfortably as a deputy to Taylor in the left-back role. Charlton Athletic have already turned down a bid of £750,000 from Luton Town.
With the departure of players like Kristoffer Ajer and the aforesaid Boli Bolingoli looking imminent, Celtic should be able to fund a permanent move for the promising youngster. Moreover, the Daily Record states that Celtic have urged Charlton Athletic to name their price for Doughty, who is in his last ten months of his contract with the Addicks.
The other youngster in their sights is PSG left-back Mitchel Bakker, who graduated from Ajax’s youth system in 2017 and joined the French champions last year. The Dutch youngster featured in the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue finals this season as PSG went on to win all domestic competitions and created club history by reaching the Champions League final in Portugal, which they eventually lost to Bayern Munich.
Mitchel Bakker is equally capable in attack and defense and has received praise from manager Thomas Tuchel for his exploits. While he hasn’t featured much, PSG’s willingness to add the full-back to their ranks speaks of his quality and potential.
The Parisian giants have already turned down an initial loan bid from Celtic, but Lennon has expressed his desire in acquiring the services of the young full-back and the club might make a better offer soon for the player. A loan move to reigning SPFL champions for the following season would suit all parties, as it would give the player vital first-team experience and Celtic would get an alternative to Boli Bolingoli, while PSG would have a more matured and dependable left-back after a year-long loan deal at Celtic
It remains to be seen who and when the Celts will sign an auxiliary left-back, but either of the two youngsters would be clever additions to their squad and a helping hand in their challenge for 10 titles in a row.