Chris Sutton believes that Celtic’s summer addition Boli Mbombo shouldn’t be written off too early into his Parkhead career and needs time to make his mark.
The defender joined the Scottish champions for £3million (Herald Scotland) this summer from Rapid Vienna and has had a mixed start to his Bhoys career.
He’s played in both competitive games so far this season in the two-legged Champions League qualifying tie against FK Sarajevo.
The left-back was solid in the away trip to FK Sarajevo and looked an attacking threat, but in the home tie gifted opponents a goal with a sloppy pass.
Celtic fortunately qualified to the next stage 5-2 on aggregate, but there are already some fans that doubt the summer recruit.
Neil Lennon’s team could a new left-back to step up this season, as Football.London reports Arsenal are confident they can secure a deal for Kieran Tierney at around £25million.
Tierney’s potential exit has been heavily speculated about in the transfer window and he would leave a major gap at full-back.
Pundit Sutton feels criticism towards Mbombo is premature and he needs time to find his feet.
“It also looks like Celtic will lose their star left back Kieran Tierney, a major influence on the team, with Boli Mbombo his long term replacement,” Sutton wrote in the Daily Record.
“Will the Belgian be as good as Tierney? Probably not but we’re talking about Tierney going on to great things and it’s unfair to judge Mbombo after two games.
“The first game he was chucked in over in Sarajevo after hardly any training and he’s being criticsed by some after a mistake at Parkhead which led to Sarajevo’s consolation goal.
“We’re in an age where we judge players virtually immediately but the guy needs to be given a chance and judged over a period as he had a lot of energy and looked very good physically.”
It hasn’t been the perfect start for Mbombo in a Celtic shirt, but the doubters should go easy on him and remember it’s still the beginning of the season.
The Bhoys may need him to become a mainstay if Tierney exits and it’s going to be difficult for anyone to replace someone of his ability.
Mbombo certainly looks capable of joining in with attacks and the 24-year-old looks a decent investment.
But manager Neil Lennon will need to drill the defensive side of his game, as the level of opposition should only increase in Europe.