With a raft of defenders leaving the club this summer, the rebuilding process has picked up pace. Dedryk Boyata, Filip Benkovic, Mikael Lustig, Emilio Izaguirre and Cristian Gamboa all departed. Confirmation arrived yesterday evening of the signing of Rapid Vienna’s Belgian left back, Boli Mbombo, 24, on a four-year contract.
He joins central defender Christopher Jullien, 26, so as it stands, left back and central defence are looking appropriate for the impending challenge of Sarajevo, but with only Anthony Ralston at right back, more work needs to be done.
The first deadline for the Sarajevo tie is at 11pm tonight, although Uefa allow one late addition to be made to the squad one day before the first leg.
Mbombo should be a lower risk signing. He has played for two years in Austria, a comparable European league to the Scottish Premiership, and being Belgian, he will have excellent English and will have no problem adjusting to life in Scotland. He has also played over 150 games, far more than most of our signings in recent years, so we will have good scouting reports on him.
Depending on the fitness of Boli and Kieran Tierney, Jonny Hayes may yet be utilised at left back on Tuesday, but the Irishman will hopefully be deployed in more familiar midfield positions going forward.