Why Scott Bain's time in the Celtic first-team is now surely up

By David Walton

June 13, 2021

2018 signing Scott Bain must have now played his final game for Celtic after recent reports of the club looking to strengthen its goalkeeping options.

Sky Sports claimed over the weekend that new manager Ange Postecoglou is eyeing up Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan for Celtic. Even this early on, it looks as though he’s ready to find his own number one.

Celtic currently have three goalkeepers in their ranks at the moment. Fans were left frustrated last season as, one by one, they failed to show they were good enough. Bain joined Vasilis Barkas and Conor Hazard in going through a poor spell and ultimately losing his place.

An injury at the end of last season to Bain led to him once more being ousted by Barkas. The Greek stopper would end the campaign with two clean sheets to give him a timely confidence booster for next season. The clean sheets will surely stand him in good stead for pre-season, with the club surely looking to get something out of their big 2020 investment.

Bain, however, has just shown himself to be poor. The former Dundee and Hibernian stopper can’t be blamed for every goal shipped of course. Our defence, after all, was a total calamity last season. But even so, his stats are a major concern.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

In 2020/21, Bain conceded 30 goals in only 23 games [Transfermarkt]. He would only secure eight clean sheets with far too many efforts flying beyond him with ease. The 4-1 defeat at Ibrox was, for me, a particularly disappointing from the shot-stopper.

Scott Bain hasn’t shown enough to stay on at Celtic

Compare that to Barkas this season. He managed 11 clean sheets in lesser games. Barkas played 22 times this season, and only conceded 21 goals [Transfermarkt]. That’s nine shy of Bain’s tally. Some will say that the Greek stopper hasn’t been tested enough, but Bain’s inability to save a football has been just as costly as the backline at times.

Bain comes across as a great personality and is a Celtic fan living the dream. But unfortunately, we just can’t rely on him to step up big when it matters. When the defence makes an error, you know it’s in the back of the end because there’s no trust in your goalkeeper.

Many will feel that if Ryan comes in, Hazard could be the one to be sent packing. But he only signed a new contract with the club back in March. The club has invested in him, and they’ll surely want to see more growth over the season. In fact, whilst we’re on the subject of Hazard, it’s worth mentioning he has four clean sheets from six games this term [Transfermarkt].

Yet another goal goes flying beyond Scott Bain (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bain will be seen in pre-season. He’ll likely even take part in some pre-season outings. But when it comes to who Postecoglou goes with for the competitive games, I think a new signing plus Barkas will be his go-to.

When we get that new signing is of course up for debate. However, you have to imagine Postecoglou will want him in the door for the first Champions League qualifier next month.

So, for me, we’ve seen the last of Bain at Celtic. He was given runs in the team by Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon, and John Kennedy. In not one of them has he proven himself to be any good enough to keep his spot.

In other news, what Ryan said about his long-term future only two weeks ago.