Report: Celtic could be in for Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan after all

By Euan Davidson

June 11, 2021

According to TalkSport journalist Alex Crooks, Celtic could well be in for Mat Ryan.

Ryan, a favourite of Ange Postecoglou’s for the Australian national team, has been considered a potential Celtic target for a while. Not least by us, who speculated on the suitability of an approach for Ryan before.

An Asian Cup winner and World Cup star under Postecoglou, Ryan replaced Mark Schwarzer in goal for the Socceroos under the new Celtic boss. At club level, Ryan had been trusted at Brighton. That is, until last season, when Robert Sanchez became Graham Potter’s undisputed number one.

This saw Ryan looking to move on, and Arsenal took Ryan on loan for the latter half of the season. With the Gunners, behind a leaky rear-guard, Ryan averaged 2.7 saves per 90 from 3 appearances [WhoScored?]. He kept a clean sheet against Newcastle [BBC] to cap a solid spell as Bernd Leno’s back-up.

Crooks told talkSPORT,

“Maty Ryan spent the second half of last season on loan at his boyhood heroes [Arsenal]”

“There is a possibility that loan could become a permanent move. But it has just been suggested to me that Ange Postecoglou, who managed Maty Ryan for Australia, could also be interested in taking the Brighton goalkeeper to Celtic.”

Mat Ryan to Celtic is an absolute no-brainer

Goalkeepers need confidence. Ange Postecoglou, then, is the perfect guy for the lanky ex-Valencia stopper to play for. After all, it was Ange who brought Ryan into the national set-up and made him a regular. That’s a status he still holds to this day.

While yes, there’ll be reluctance to trust a signing from Brighton after the Shane Duffy debacle, Ryan is a very different player. Acrobatic and dominant in the air, he’s a Premier League calibre shot-stopper. While Celtic have been linked to Freddie Woodman, and Vasilis Barkas may well be worth another go, Mathew Ryan to Celtic has always made sense, and particularly does so now.

Mathew Ryan: you ok, bud? / (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Yes, it may seem a lazy link to make. He’s Australian! Our manager is Greek-Australian! By that measure, we ought to sign Kylie Minogue, etc.

But the goalkeeping situation at Celtic is a strange one. With Australia international Ryan, it’s less of a risk than Barkas, who took quite a while to adapt to life in Scotland.

It’s definitely worth considering for the Bhoys.

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