Celtic defender Greg Taylor is in line to make his debut for the club in this weekend’s Premiership match against Kilmarnock.
Taylor, who signed from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day at the start of September, is set to be the beneficiary of the groin injury sustained by Boli Bolingoli in Thursday’s Europa League clash against Rennes, with the Daily Record claiming that the Belgian left-back is a major doubt for the match at Celtic Park.
Bolingoli had endured some criticism in the early weeks of his Celtic career, with the 24-year-old being condemned by Football Scotland‘s Jonathan McFarlane for defensive errors in the Hoops’ Champions League qualifying campaign over the summer.
However, he has nonetheless started all of Celtic’s matches so far this season and had been ever-present in the Premiership before this weekend. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Also, his recent performances have hinted at improvement, with Derek McGregor of The Scottish Sun saying that he “became one of their best players” in the derby win over Rangers earlier this month and John Reid of 67hailhail.com writing after the Rennes game that “he has had a good start to his Celtic career“.
Taylor came to Celtic off the back of some impressive defensive statistics from last season, averaging 4.11 successful aerial duels and 4.72 interceptions per game. [statistics from Wyscout, via Herald Scotland]
He provided four assists in 36 appearances across 3,103 minutes in 2018/19, an average of one every nine games and 775.75 minutes.
Despite Bolingoli being noted by the Daily Record‘s Michael Gannon as a left-back who “continues to give teams problems going forward“, he has set up just one goal in 14 games and 1,153 minutes so far for Celtic.
While Taylor appears to have the edge in setting up chances, one area where Bolingoli has the upper hand is in terms of ball retention. The Evening Times noted that the latter’s average pass completion rate for the Hoops is 80.6%, compared to 74.2% for Taylor last season [from Wyscout, via Herald Scotland]
Bolingoli has had good and bad moments in the first couple of months of his Celtic career, but his string of starting appearances indicated that Lennon has shown plenty of faith in him.
Taylor has yet to even appear in a Celtic matchday squad, but now he has the chance to show why the Hoops signed him and it is up to him to demonstrate if he is more reliable than the sometimes erratic Bolingoli.
Celtic fans, do you think Taylor could usurp Bolingoli as first choice left-back even when the latter comes back from injury? Have your say by commenting below!
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