The Celtic fans were left in decent spirits after being informed of Conor Hazard having extended his contract this afternoon.
The Northern Irishman made his Parkhead breakthrough over the month of December. Neil Lennon would eventually give the gloves back to Vasilis Barkas and then Scott Bain, but Hazard has shown his positive traits.
With seven appearances to his name and four clean sheets, he’s shown considerable quality. Despite lacking in aerial ability at times, Hazard has shown some tremendous shot-stopping skills.
Plenty have been quick in the past to mention his lack of dominance in the air against Hearts and Hibs respectively. But nobody seems to mention his fine stops from Kevin Nisbet and Joe Newell. Or his one-v-one save against Hearts’ Josh Ginnelly in the Scottish Cup final.
However, today Celtic showed their faith in the player. A new two-year contract was signed, and it finally bucked the Lennoxtown trend of top youngsters departing the club.
Celtic finally keep hold of a fine young prospect
In recent years, we’ve had to watch on as our best young talent has been snapped up by other clubs. The likes of Liam Morrison and Barry Hepburn moved to Bayern Munich. Liam Hughes also moved to Liverpool in January, whilst the likes of Karamoko Dembele has yet to sign a new deal ahead of his contract expiration date in the summer.
Hazard signing finally puts a small halt to that trend. A sign that the football club is still an attractive place for exciting young talents to develop.
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It remains to be seen just how far Hazard can go. He’s shown real potential along with some big areas of weakness. But that’s to expected in a young goalkeeper who’s been given a chance to become the club’s number one.
What’s vital is that the Celtic fans and the new management team sticks by him. When strikers make a key error it goes down as a missed chance. When goalkeepers do the same it results in a goal. But what must be the same in both scenarios is that the player is backed.
Hazard appears to have been so by the club via his new contract extension. And it’s clear that the fans are pleased to see him commit too.
Here’s a look at what many of the Hoops fans are saying: