BOLI Bolingoli-Mbombo's move to Celtic is looking increasingly likely of being completed imminently. The full-back left Rapid Vienna's pre-season training camp for further discussions with Celtic, and Neil Lennon is hopeful of securing the 24-year-old Belgian's signature in time for the club's Champions League qualifier against FK Sarajevo.

The left-sided defender will move to Parkhead for a fee of around £3 million and with Kieran Tierney's future at parkhead in the balance - with both Napoli and Arsenal seriously interested in the Scotland internationalist - it could be the case that Bolingoli-Mbombo will be a first-team regular for Lennon this season.

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Below, we've delved into the Belgian's numbers to see what Celtic fans can expect from Bolingoli-Mbombo, should the deal go through.

READ MORE: Celtic target Bolongoli-Mbombo leaves training with Rapid Vienna

Our first port of call will be to see how Bolingoli-Mbombo compares to Tierney. Comparing players from different leagues is far from an exact science but, thankfully, both Rapid Vienna and Celtic competed in the Europa League last season, so we can go off of the stats that both defenders produced in European football during the 2018/19 campaign.

Unsurprisingly, Bolingoli-Mbombo is no Tierney. In fact, the 22-year-old Napoli target is superior in almost every way; Tierney plays more passes, attempts more dribbles, completes more interceptions than Bolingoli-Mbombo - and does all of this more succesfully.

However, when we examine the two players' purely defensive statistics, we can see that the Rapid Vienna full-back has the better of Tierney in a few areas. Bolingoli-Mbombo (9.8) attempts nearly twice as many defensive duels as Tierney (5.85) per 90 minutes, although it's worth pointing out that the Scotland defender's success rate at these is around twice as high. Similarly, Bolingoli-Mbombo attempts more aerial duels than Tierney does on average, and has a marginally higher success rate.

What this tells us is that Bolingoli-Mbombo already looks fairly sound defensively speaking, but improvement will be required from the full-back's attacking output if he is to adequately replace Tierney in the left side of Celtic's defence.


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Given the fact that Tierney is one of Celtic - and Scotland's - best players, perhaps the 22-year-old is an unfair yardstick to measure Bolingoli-Mbombo against. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to compare the Belgian against the likes of Emilio Izaguirre or Jonny Hayes, as the pair did not feature regularly in Europe this season, but there is little doubt that Bolingoli-Mbombo could develop into an important player for Lennon.

There are strong defensive foundations that Celtic's coaching staff can work with in the short term with Boligoli-Mbombo, and at 24 years old there is still plenty of scope for improvement. But any Celtic fans hoping for a like-for-like replacement for Tierney will be disappointed. That's not a criticism of Boligoli-Mbombo; more a testament to just how good a player Tierney is. Finding a new Tierney isn't a realistic option, but Boligoli-Mbombo certainly has what it takes to thrive at Celtic Park.