Celtic now have another big decision to make after Joe Hart arrival

By Euan Davidson

August 3, 2021

So, Joe Hart has arrived at Celtic. He’s even travelled with the squad to face FK Jablonec on Thursday evening.

That’s all good, and while there are risks attached to kick-starting Hart’s career, it does mean there are surely too many goalkeepers at the club. Unless FIFA allow us to play with more than one stopper, and God willing they will, that’s just a fact.

Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas have continued the musical chairs act from last season in earnest. Barkas looked to have revived his confidence in pre-season, with the backing of Ange Postecoglou.

However, he’s already come under fire this season, a campaign that’s barely started. Getting a new goalie in was a must. So, the experience of someone like Joe Hart will be a significant boost to a comparatively young squad.

Scott McDonald joins 67HH for the Ange Postecoglou era

Scott McDonald joins 67HH for the Ange Postecoglou era

You add Conor Hazard in to that equation? 4 into 1 will not go. Hart’s arrival, surely as the number 1, will force one of Bain, Barkas or Hazard to leave the club.

And my money’s on Scott Bain being the one Celtic let go.

Always a likeable character, and one who is always keen to learn under each of his managers at Celtic, it’s just that the former Dundee stopper has never truly convinced.

His appearances were always predicated with a time limit. If Bain is playing, it’s because Celtic are assessing their options. After the season Vasilis Barkas endured in the Hoops, Bain was brought in to try to restore some confidence to the Bhoys’ back-line.

It didn’t work. That was evident in displays in Europe and domestically. His reactions against Hearts were, arguably, the best case in point, albeit the most recent one.

Hart and his Celtic arrival require some further movement from the club

Loathe as we are to talk any Celtic player down, it’s clear that there are just too many cooks here. Barkas was too expensive to jettison this summer, unless there are a crowd of interested clubs who will pay something near the £4.5m it took to prise him from AEK Athens [BBC].

For many reasons, that doesn’t seem to be a hugely likely option. There was reported interest in the Greek stopper three months ago, and if that remains the case, then a loan deal to regain much-needed confidence could be the move.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Even then, though, new Celtic goalkeeper Hart has been brought in on a three-year deal. That implies that he’ll be the incumbent for a while yet. Sitting on the bench won’t be good enough for either Barkas or Bain, and the latter can probably feel aggrieved to be pushed aside.

After all, he’s always made himself available when called upon. Over the last few seasons, that’s happened plenty.

For his career, though, you sense there’s more urgency in a Bain move. It’s likely there’d be domestic interest, and he’s just not someone the supporters have truly warmed to.

Still only 29, the Edinburgh-born shot-stopper still has time on his side somewhere. Surely, though, he can get regular minutes elsewhere. With Hart arriving, there’s little chance of that. Nor is there much chance of Celtic cutting Barkas loose for less than a few million.

In other news: Celtic supporters get broadcast boost