Former Scotland international Alan Hutton has backed Celtic to sign a new goalkeeper this summer, offering a stronger backup to Joe Hart and replacing Vasilis Barkas.
The Lowdown: Goalkeeping outgoings?
The Hoops have enjoyed a superb season, lying on the cusp of another Scottish Premiership title, and Hart has played his part between the sticks.
The 35-year-old has started 32 league games, as well as five in the Europa League, proving that he can still perform at a high level.
Barkas has been linked with a move away from Celtic after struggling for playing time, so a new stopper could be required in the summer transfer window.
Bodo/Glimt ‘keeper Nikita Haikin is one player who has been tipped to come in.
The Latest: Pundit talks up new signing
He told Football Insider:
“I always think it’s a difficult one. Obviously, everybody wants to play but the goalkeepers are a specialised position.
“You want to push somebody on but if you’re second choice, you know you’re not going to play an awful lot. So you have to have someone in there with a really good, strong mentality. It can be difficult.
“Everybody needs competition. Joe Hart’s no different. I still believe he can play for a good number of years, he’s got a lot of football left in him.
“He’ll want that pressure on his shoulders as well so he performs at a top level. The only problem is you need to get somebody out, Barkas or Bain or whoever.
“You can’t bring in another keeper and be sitting there with four goalkeepers. The squad isn’t balanced. That’ll probably happen first and foremost but of course, they’ll need somebody in to challenge.”
The Verdict: Makes complete sense
A stronger deputy to Hart makes perfect sense going into next season, especially with Champions League football looking likely to return to Parkhead.
At 35, Hart certainly isn’t getting any younger, while an injury to him would require a good ‘keeper to fill the void left by him and not look overawed doing the job.
The money received for qualifying for Europe’s best club competition would generate more transfer funds, increasing Ange Postecoglou’s chances of bringing in a more-than-competent rival for Hart.
In other news, a pundit has dropped a ‘crazy’ Celtic financial claim. Read more here.
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