Exclusive: McNamara casts serious doubts over 'struggling' 24-yr-old in Celtic transfer claim


Jackie McNamara has cast serious doubts over the fitness levels of Boli Bolingoli after he struggled in Celtic’s 1-1 draw against CFR Cluj.

The former Hoops and Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that he was not impressed with what he saw from the 24-year-old left-back on Wednesday night, having made a mistake for the Romanian side’s opening goal.

Bolingoli is a new arrival at Parkhead, having signed from Rapid Vienna this summer, and has been a regular under Neil Lennon in the absence of Kieran Tierney through injury.

With the Scottish international moving to Arsenal, McNamara claims another left-back must be signed, suggesting that Bolingoli is struggling to adapt to the demands of playing for Celtic.

Asked if he thought the 24-year-old was defensively suspect, McNamara told Football Insider: “Last night he was caught out for the goal but I just think his all-round performance (was poor). 

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“The first two games he played he came off after 60 minutes and he’s trying to come up to speed with the demands of playing at the weekend and then travelling. He definitely struggled last night.

“It’s clear they need another left-back. He looks more comfortable going forward. Defending, when you’re tired it does take a bit of time to get that fitness. He still needs to adjust to the training regime or the demands of the game but it’s something they need to sort out quickly for the important games coming up.”

Bolingoli has played in every one of Celtic’s games this season, playing the full 90 minutes in four out of six of those matches.

Celtic will visit Motherwell on Saturday for their second league game of the season before welcoming Cluj to Parkhead for the second leg of their Champions League qualifier.

In other Celtic news, McNamara has told Football Insider that another Hoops player is going to make big waves this season.