Neil Lennon has revealed why key defender Kieran Tierney has been missing for the duration of Celtic’s pre-season and Champions League qualifying campaign so far.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Parkhead this summer, with Arsenal and Napoli both suitors, but he’s still at the club with less than a month of the British transfer window remaining.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s friendly against Ligue 1 side Rennes, Lennon explained that Tierney’s struggling through injury and is looking to return to training soon:
[Tierney] is still having problems with the pubic injury, so we will need to get to the bottom of that. But right now, he still feels a lot of discomfort with it. We don’t want him to be out for too long but we need to get him right. He should hopefully be fit in another month, and we will look to get him out on the grass maybe next week.
Celtic have signed 24-year-old Rapid Wien left-back Boli Bolingoli this summer as back-up for Tierney, and Lennon is happy that it means his first-choice man has a weight off his shoulders:
“He now has some competition in Boli [Bolingoli] too, so that means he can step in. That might take the weight off him a bit.
Hoops fans will be hoping Bolingoli is Tierney’s backup option for the 2019-20 season and not his replacement.
What Kieran Tierney's back-up Boli Bolingoli brings to Celtic
Bolingoli at 5’11” is one inch taller than Tierney and his 39.7% aerial success rate last season is stronger than his counterpart’s 30.8%.
Bolingoli can also play as a left winger if needed, using his technical ability and pace to cause problems for defenders.
He was a fan favourite at Rapid Wien and if he expresses himself at Parkhead he’ll win the heart of fans, without a doubt.
He’s an attacking threat, for sure, down the left flank but doesn’t get up as much as Tierney, though you’d expect that’d because the Scotsman is able to in such a dominant team.
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