Scott Bain is making vital improvements; could still be Celtic's number one next season

By Sean Clifford

April 13, 2021

Scott Bain is someone who garners mixed reviews amongst the Celtic support.

Signing from Dundee in 2018, the 29-year-old has enjoyed plenty of action between the sticks in the past three and a half seasons.

Celtic have notoriously struggled to field an established number one goalkeeper in 2020/21. Patchy spells for Vasilis Barkas, Conor Hazard and Bain at different junctures of the campaign have led to a lack of communication between goalkeeper and defenders.

Now featuring regularly behind a settled back four, the Scot looks to have found his niche within the Hoops side.                     

Bain has excelled in the last line of defence in recent weeks. This could be down to a number of factors, especially his settling presence on the ball. Given the role of a modern-day goalkeeper, ball retentiveness has become of ever-increasing importance. The Edinburgh-born man reflects this within his pass involvement rate, averaging around 24.8 passes per game [WhoScored].

Celtic 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday | LIVE Reaction

    Scott Bain’s calmness with the ball at his feet helps to initiate build-up play from deep

On first viewing 24.8 passes may not seem like heap loads, however this is relatively high for a goalkeeper and indicates that Bain is trusted in possession. Never afraid to take risks, his willingness to rapidly progress play bore fruit earlier this year in a 1-0 triumph over Aberdeen [Sky Sports].

Breaking the Dons press, Bain caught the Dons off-guard by quickly finding Callum McGregor who was able to glide 50 yards with the ball before assisting David Turnbull to finish

Currently conceding less than a goal a game at 0.75 goals shipped per 90 minutes [FootyStats], Bain concedes marginally less than positional rival Barkas who is at 0.77 [FootyStats]. Understudy Conor Hazard has kept 4 clean sheets in 6 [Transfermarkt], though hasn’t featured frequently enough.

Scott Bain in action for Celtic (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Bain has managed eight shutouts in 20 this season which admittedly is not ground-breaking. However, four of these clean sheets have come in his last 5 fixtures [Transfermarkt]. Indicative of a man in fine fettle, the Scotland international should hit double figures before the campaign concludes.

Celtic need to strengthen their depth in the goalkeeping position, that much is apparent. Encouragingly for the former Hibee, the Hoops have been linked with managers who prefer possession-based football.

Whether it be Celtic linked Eddie Howe, Lucian Favre or even John Kennedy, the likelihood is Bain will remain at the club in some capacity next year.

His cultured nature as a keeper who can play may appeal to a prospective new manager. Only time will tell in relation to what role he will play.

In other news, we take a look at the recent formation change that should lead Celtic to Glasgow Derby success.