Why Burnley did well to avoid signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo
Back in June, the Lancashire Live had claimed that Burnley were interested in signing left-back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo from Rapid Vienna during the summer transfer window. However, a move didn’t materialise and instead, the player went on to sign for Scottish champions Celtic.
After failing to sign Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Burnley shifted their focus towards bringing in Erik Pieters from Stoke City after Stephen Ward’s departure. And they managed to get Pieters, who signed a two-year deal at the Turf Moor, with an option for a third.
An opening day 3-0 victory over Southampton set the tone for Burnley’s start to the new season. However, they have only managed to get a point in the next three games. Sean Dyche will not be worried much as he had a lot of positives to take even in defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool.
Ashley Barnes has been the star for the Clarets so far this campaign, bagging four goals in as many games. In addition to Barnes, Pieters has also impressed at left-back. The Dutchman has been solid, not spectacular, enjoying highs and lows in Burnley colours.
Pieters bagged two assists in the 3-0 victory over Southampton, producing a top display on opening day.
If his performance against Southampton was good, he conceded a penalty to Wolves in the stoppage time, with Raul Jimenez converting the spot-kick to earn a 1-1 draw for the hosts. Overall, one can say Pieters has been reliable at the back for Dyche’s side.
On the contrary, Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo arrived at the Hoops as a potential replacement for Kieran Tierney. With Tierney having left for Arsenal in the summer transfer window, Bolingoli-Mbombo was expected to step up but the Belgium-born Congolese has failed to do so.
He has looked defensively very shoddy, poor in possession and did concede a penalty in the second leg of Celtic’s Europa League playoff round tie against AIK. The 24-year-old has been encouraging going forward, showing clear traits of an attack-minded left-back.
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Bolingoli-Mbombo may start to show his quality and calibre once he completely finds his feet in Scottish football but the early prognosis aren’t exactly promising.
It remains to be seen whether Bolingoli-Mbombo becomes a star or flops at Parkhead but as things stand, Burnley have dodged a bullet in the 24-year-old. It could be said that Dyche did well later to sign an experienced player like Pieters.