Chris Sutton names the 'vital' Celtic star he believes is one of Postecoglou's best signings

By Lewis Laird

August 12, 2022

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has stated that goalkeeper Joe Hart has been one of Ange Postecoglou’s best acquisitions as manager.

The 35-year-old shot-stopper arrived at Parkhead last summer as part of 12 new additions made by the Celtic boss as he looked to rebuild his squad.

Hart quickly became the club’s number one, stepping in for £5 million man Vasilis Barkas who had an extremely difficult 12 months in Glasgow.

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The former Manchester City man went on to become a key contributor for Ange Postecoglou and was one of the leaders within the dressing room.

He may be a year older, however, coming into the 2022/23 season, Hart has already shown he has no signs of slowing down.

The Englishman produced a fantastic save at a vital moment in the game against Ross County last weekend, which helped the Bhoys on their way to a 3-1 victory.

Writing in his weekly column for the Daily Record, Chris Sutton stated that the goalkeeper was up there with Jota as one of Postecoglou’s best signings as Celtic manager.

“Pound for pound, Hart has to be right up there with the likes of Jota in terms of being the best acquisition of the Aussie’s reign.

“The Portuguese got every headline last weekend after his performance against Ross County, where his wizardry set up all three goals. Quite right, Jota was brilliant.

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“But, in the background, Hart made a contribution every bit as vital, which went, for the most part, under the radar. His save from a vicious County free-kick late in the game with the scores locked at 1-1 are pivotal in a season.

“Would Celtic have recovered from 2-1 down with 15 minutes to go? Given they had dominated the game, maybe.

“But, as goals can change games, then maybe not. Points could have been shipped. But Hart made sure that didn’t happen and underlined his value yet again. It was Moritz Jenz who gave that free-kick away. Just a few minutes after losing his man for the equaliser.”

He continued: “Hart has been absolutely magnificent since he moved to Glasgow, and the way he has thrown himself into it has been the stand-out marker. Everyone knows the back story from before he signed. At one stage, he was Burnley’s third choice, and his career was petering out.

“Hart had achieved plenty. Title wins had been England’s No.1. He could easily have just stayed in his comfort zone. Taken big wages for being a backup keeper in the Premier League and played the odd League Cup game here and there.

“It says much for his career and his desire he was willing to take the plunge and go into a Celtic set-up which, at the time, may have been viewed by some as a risky proposition. Celtic didn’t need just a competent keeper.

“They needed someone with character to step into a difficult situation and handle it because they were also bedding in an entire new defence.”

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“I’m not in the dressing room, but from what I can tell, Hart has been absolutely vital to the success of the team as he’s a leader in there, and he will go back into the Champions League group stage this season as one of the club’s most influential figures.”

Hart’s contributions for Celtic will once again be key this season.

If Celtic are to continue their early success under the 56-year-old, Joe Hart will need to continue his form from his impressive first year as a Hoops player.

That includes in the Champions League, where the ex-England internationalist has performed before, reaching the semi-finals of the competition with his former club.

I have no doubt that we will continue to see Hart put in brilliant performances and play a vital role as a leader within the dressing room at Parkhead.

Last Saturday, he once again showcased why so many were wrong to doubt him on his arrival this last summer, and now he is ready to continue kicking on and achieve more trophy success.

In other news, Report: Agreement close on new £29.5m SPFL TV deal; possibly more Celtic broadcasts.