Celtic could do far worse than to check out the free agent market this summer, and find Tomas Vaclik.
With probably the strongest pool of out-of-contract stars in years, this summer will be a very interesting time in football. Some clubs are tightening the purse strings after a year plus of Covid-19 and no supporters. Meanwhile, there are others waiting in the wings to hoover up massive talents for peanuts.
The Bhoys could pick from a number of free agent signings this summer. Around Europe and beyond, there are plenty of names who would immediately strengthen the Celtic squad. We’ve covered, in depth, the sheer breadth of talent available without a transfer fee this season.
But a name we haven’t included yet might be the most vital. Rather than spending millions on a replacement for Vasilis Barkas, Celtic could pick up a 36-times capped international from Sevilla. Tomas Vaclik, at 32, is in the prime of his career, yet he’s not getting regular game-time at the Andalusian giants.
He could well be worth looking at.
Tomas Vaclik: a good choice for Celtic?
The Czech goalie’s pedigree speaks for itself. A regular at international level, Vaclik has been part of some impressive sides. He was at FC Basel alongside Albian Ajeti and Mohamed Elyounoussi, in a four-year spell that yielded 3 Swiss championships and a Swiss Cup.
Before that, he featured for Sparta Prague, Vitkovice and Viktoria Zizkov, where he established himself as one of Europe’s most promising young keepers. While developing the Czech Republic, he became a first-choice for every national youth team. More recently, he was named as 2018’s Czech Player of the Year [iSport.cz], and was a Europa League winner with Sevilla.
Overall, that’s a considerable CV.
At 6’1″, Vaclik’s reactions and distribution are considerable attributes. He’s come into a Czech team led for so long by Petr Cech and made a fine case for his continued inclusion. Again: this is a player that will be available for free. For whatever reason, Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui is willing to let the lanky Czech keeper go for nothing.
With Celtic struggling in a variety of positions, we should be looking to snare high-quality free transfers where possible. It makes financial sense, and it’s not as if we’re scratching around the bargain basement here.
It’s a low-risk move that would surely make sense for all parties.