Martin Dubravka could be a shrewd signing for Celtic

The news that Celtic has cast our eye upon Newcastle United’s out-of-favour goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka, is certainly an eyebrow raiser…

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka of Slovakia in action during the warm-up session prior to the international friendly match between San Marino and Slovakia at Stadion Wiener Neustadt on June 5, 2024 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.(Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)

By all accounts, the Slovakian has the required attributes to excel in the position that an experienced Joe Hart not so long ago made his own. The Englishman answered the call in our hour of need, when Ange Postecoglou was rebuilding in his first campaign at Celtic Park and needed a new number one.

A £1 million bargain for a man that had played at major tournaments for his country and played at Champions League level – added to that a Premier League winners medal too. For sure, when big Joe boy found the Celtic, it was a match made in footballing heaven. A player who had been practically discarded by the football world found the love and adulation that a goalkeeper of his standing deserved.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka of Slovakia shares a laugh during the warm-up session prior to the international friendly match between San Marino and Slovakia at Stadion Wiener Neustadt on June 5, 2024 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.(Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)

At 33 too, we got the last few good years out of the former Shrewsbury Town and Manchester City number one. His career was threatening to peter out at that point and would have been a travesty, had he not accepted the offer from the famous green and white. That was the best move he ever made and it was one that served both the club and Joe himself really well these past few years.

That relationship blossomed and was a real coup for the club as we hadn’t had our sorrows to seek the previous year when Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain and Conor Hazard were all tried between the sticks for Neil Lennon. It was all in vain as we couldn’t get that commanding presence and character behind the defence and a lack of confidence began to seep into every facet of the starting line-up because of this major deficiency during the 2020/21 calendar.

After having the gargantuan frame and imposing figure of Fraser Forster on loan from Southampton beforehand it was a mighty fall for the Celtic supporters to witness. That particular chaos is something that the club must ensure doesn’t happen ever again and we remain committed to doing our due diligence and remain pro-active in the transfer market to try and nab the next Joe Hart when the situation presents itself….

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We’ve been linked with a litany of goalkeepers already and Dubravka is just the latest in a long list. At 35-years-old the man who has enjoyed spells at Manchester United and Sparta Prague throughout his career would only be a stop-gap option for Brendan Rodgers and the Hoops would really only be putting a sticking plaster over the issue for the time being.

Having said that, if he is the best available option this summer then there’s no reason that the netminder couldn’t serve us well for the next couple of years and give us that sturdy backbone we need for Europe especially.

Paul Gillespie

Gustaf Lagerbielke of Celtic FC during the UEFA Champions League match between Feyenoord and Celtic FC at Feyenoord Stadion de Kuip on September 19, 2023.Photo VI ANP Sport Jeroen Putmans

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I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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