Brendan Rodgers may well be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer

The news yesterday that Ange Postecoglou has snapped up Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario as one of his first signings since taking over at the North London club got me thinking about our own goalkeeping situation and whether it will be a position Brendan Rodgers will be looking at during the summer.

As we all know, our current situation in the goalkeeping department is that our number one is clearly Joe Hart who has performed admirably over the past two seasons as Celtic claimed 5 out of 6 of the domestic trophies on offer.

Joe Hart and Carl Starfelt of Celtic during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at on April 08, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

During that time it’s fair to say that Hart hasn’t really been overly challenged for the gloves, with back-up keeper Benjamin Siegrist having to deal with injuries and seemingly happy to play the role as second choice keeper. I actually hope to see more of Siegrist this season in cup competitions if he can stay injury free as I thought he looked a fine keeper during his spell with Dundee United.

We also have Scott Bain on our books who, to the surprise of nearly all of us, actually signed a new deal last season knowing he was technically our third choice keeper. Scott of course has been around a long time, he’s actually one of the very few players who remains at the club from Brendan’s first stint in charge at Parkhead. The fact Scott struggled to take the gloves from Vasilis Barkas, who in my opinion is the worst goalkeeper I have ever seen play for Celtic, says it all I’m afraid.

I actually feel like Celtic retaining him is a slap in the face to our underage keepers looking for that break through into the first team squad.

Celtic v Blackburn Rovers – Pre Season Friendly – Celtic Park James McCarthy, Scott Bain and Mikey Johnston arriving at Celtic Park, : Saturday July 16, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan

So with Siegrist and Bain likely to be our second and third choice goalkeepers next year the only real question is will Brendan be willing to put his trust in an ageing Joe Hart as our undisputed number one next season. The reason I have mentioned Siegrist and Bain as our second and third choice without bringing Hart into the equation is because if Rodgers decides to bring someone else in I’m certain Hart will leave for a new challenge. He won’t want to spend his twilight years sitting on the Celtic bench waiting for the odd appearance in a cup game. Absolutely none of us would blame him if that’s how he felt.

Personally it’s a tough one for me. I think Hart has done well for Celtic over the past two years. I have to admit I wasn’t overjoyed when Ange signed him during the summer of ’21 as I thought his best years were in the rearview mirror but I’m happy to admit I was wrong about the former England number one. He has more than proved over the past two campaigns that he is still a top goalkeeper, often pulling off vital saves for Celtic when it matters most.

One of the things that’s perhaps shocked me even more is how the club and the fans have become close to his heart (no pun intended), and vice versa. Knowing very little about the man when he signed I had a preconceived idea that he was a bit of a playboy character interested in only himself but he has surprised me in that regards, becoming a fan favourite for his behaviour both on and off the pitch.

He truly has become a leader within this current squad and you can see he is a much liked character amongst his teammates. It’s also clear how much he has enjoyed these past two seasons at Celtic. So perhaps a lot more for Rodgers to think about than just his goalkeeping abilities.

Personally I think it’s great having a character such as him, with all the experience he brings along with those leadership qualities he possesses, but at the end of the day do I think he should be out number one again heading into next season? Unfortunately I don’t.

The reason purely being down to goalkeeping ability. I think there are plenty of goalkeepers out there who are attainable that are at a higher standard than our current number one.

Tottenham Hotspur’s goalkeeper Fraser Forster looks to distribute the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 30, 2023.  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

When reading about Tottenham signing their new keeper something that caught my attention was the fact that them bringing in another keeper means that technically Fraser Forster is now their third choice goalie. Now I know it’s pretty obvious that Hugo Lloris will depart this summer but even so, Spurs haven’t spent £17m on a keeper to sit on the bench.

He will undoubtedly be number one so will Forster be prepared to spend another season on the bench at his age? Would you be happy if Celtic made a move for him once again? We are in the mood for bringing people back this summer after all! With his age chances are we won’t be looking to bring the Englishman in but I don’t think anyone can deny that he was incredible during his two spells in Glasgow, with many including myself having him up there with one of our best keepers of all time. I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if it happened.

Liverpool’s Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher catches the ball during the FA Cup third round football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, on January 17, 2023. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Another option could be Liverpool and Ireland understudy Caoimhin Kelleher. I think he is a fantastic goalkeeper and at the age of 24 another year on the Anfield bench is not going to do his career any good. Having came up through the Liverpool youth academy it’s obvious he is waiting for that opportunity to prove he is good enough to be their number one but with Allison ahead of him in the pecking order it will be a tough challenge and rumour is he is starting to think it could be time to move on.

Republic of Ireland’s goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher punches the ball clear during the UEFA Nations League, league B group 1 football match between Republic of Ireland and Scotland at Aviva stadium in Dublin, Ireland on June 11, 2022. (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Do I think we could afford him outright? Probably not. In the money mad world of the EPL even reserve goalkeepers can cost as much as £20m. We could certainly see if Liverpool would be willing to loan him out however. I would certainly take him for a season or two.

It will be interesting to see if Brendan Rodgers will be in the market for a goalkeeper this summer or if he believes Joe Hart has another season or two in him. It could be a decision that’s proves decisive especially with Champions League football on the horizon.

Conall McGinty

About Author

Hailing from Cushendall in the North of Ireland my formative years were spent watching Celtic during our barren spell through the 90's which meant I have appreciated our recent trophy-laden spell even more. Favourite matches home and away I've attended has to be beating Man Utd 1-0 at Celtic Park and being with my 2 brothers watching us beat Lazio 2-1 in Rome. Best away day experience? Has to be Munich with friends from Coatbridge...what a few days!


  1. Think we may well loan out big Ben and maybe loan a keeper in with the option to buy, and create strong competition for the no 1 position.
    The little bits we did see of big Ben, he seemed far worse with the ball at his feet, a big requirement for today’s keeper.
    Although Hart has improved and worked hugely upon this within his own game, still doesn’t fill myself with confidence within him.
    Remains an area within the squad were improvements can and should be made, and hopefully we might see that happening before the start of the season imo

  2. George Theodorou on

    I think that Siegrist is a very good keeper and should be the natural successor to Hart once he moves on in what ever capacity. It was a wise buy from Ange to get Ben as a keeper for the Hoops.

  3. martin leadbetter on

    Bad though Barkas looked he will still not be the worst Celtic goalie – Gordon Marshall had that sewn up years ago. Only time he ever looked like a keeper was when he was playing in league deciders – against us. His performance against Raith was a masterclass in hopelessness !