Ange Postecoglou's Joe Hart comments and what they mean for very highly rated Celtic prospect
It has been an impressive first season in between the sticks for Joe Hart in a Celtic shirt.
The Englishman arrived in Glasgow with plenty of doubters but has since proved them wrong with his performances this season.
One man who seemed sure of his success when signing in the summer, though, was Ange Postecoglou.
The Celtic boss has regularly spoken highly about the former Manchester City stopper and paid testament to his character, which has been crucial this season.
On Sunday, Hart made a huge save to keep the score level in the Glasgow derby and was once again heavily praised by his manager.
Interestingly, Postecoglou pointed out that he believes the 34-year old is still relatively young for a goalkeeper, potentially hinting at a long future in Glasgow for Hart.
So what does this mean for the future of the goalkeeping position at Parkhead?
Currently, Celtic have several goalkeepers on their books – with Scott Bain seen as number two and Vasilias Barkas still around the club.
Both Conor Hazard and Ross Doohan are also enjoying spells out on loan at HJK Helsinki and Tranmere Rovers, respectively.
However, the smart bet when it comes to the future of the goalkeeping position looks to be 18-year old Tobi Oluwayemi.
The young English internationalist joined from Tottenham Hotspur and spent the majority of the campaign with the Celtic B side last campaign.
He has also featured in several European squads throughout this season and trained amongst the first team regularly. Postecoglou has also spoken positively of the youngster. Goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods is said by the Bhoys boss to rate the teenager ‘very highly’.
While Hart’s future looks like it will be with Celtic for the next few years, that also opens up a stable development pathway for Oluwayemi into the first team.
Next season could prove extremely valuable for the shot-stopper, whether that be more experience with the Celtic first team or out on loan.
Oluwayemi could even take over Hart’s place as the Celtic goalkeeper in the next few years, allowing the veteran keeper to remain in the dressing room, continuing to play a part as a leader within the side.
Learning from a former England number one could be formative for Oluwayemi.
So, it will be interesting to see what the near future holds for the talented young goalkeeper, who could be the next Lennoxtown prodigy to make a significant impact on the Celtic team.