Forster and Siegrist rumours shut down as Celtic boss pleased with goalkeepers

By David Walton

December 29, 2020

It’s fair to say that Celtic won’t be moving for a new goalkeeper in January then.

Neil Lennon was keen to dismiss any idea that he’ll add to the Conor Hazard, Vasilis Barkas, and Scott Bain mix. This comes after the latter pair have been struggling badly to cement themselves this season.

So much so that Hazard was desperately thrown in by Lennon last month. This was despite the fact he had only played once for the Hoops before and started the season as third choice.

Thankfully, he’s shined in goal and helped reduce the necessity to sign a fresh stopper in January. Celtic had been linked with moves for both Fraser Forster (The Herald) and Benjamin Siegrist (Daily Mail) this month alone.

And today, Lennon effectively put a dagger in the heart of any idea we could sign either in quick fashion. Speaking via Celtic TV at his pre-match presser, Lennon said: “No I’m pleased with his progress (Hazard). No I don’t think that’s an area we would be looking to strengthen at all. We’ve got two very capable goalkeepers.

“So in short the answer’s no. I’m pleased with the progress he’s making. He’s only had three or four senior games, he already has a cup medal. It’s a pretty impressive start to his career.”

Celtic still taking a risk in not strengthening

I can’t help but feel this would be a bit of a risky move. If Lennon thinks that Hazard is the man to stick with then that’s fine. But there’s still nothing to suggest either Barkas or Bain can cut it.

It was interesting to note that Lennon said that we had TWO capable goalkeepers and not three. A slip of the tongue perhaps, but if it wasn’t he wouldn’t be lying on one of them. Neither Barkas nor Bain have proven to be reliable for us. That’s just the truth.

You can’t legislate for injuries that happen over the course of the season. You’ll do well to find a Celtic fan that would be comfortable with either of the reserves coming into the team should Hazard pick up a knock.

Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

It looks as though Lennon may want to stick by Barkas. That could turn out to be a good decision. Being out of the team still allows him the chance to get himself used to Scotland as a country outside of football. Eventually, however, he’s going to have to start proving himself as a footballer.

And that’s where the risk comes in. There’s no certainty the Greek international will do that. Where as if a Forster is re-signed or another capable goalkeeper arrives then we have adequate cover or competition. As things stand we don’t currently have that.

In any case, the manager will live and die by his decisions as Celtic boss. Hopefully, not strengthening in goal doesn’t come back to bite him later on in the campaign.

In other news, the Bhoys are set for a huge boost next month.