Rather surprisingly, Brendan Rodgers has revealed that a new goalkeeper is NOT in his sights ahead of the January transfer window opening. The Celtic boss will have the opportunity in a few weeks time to address what he himself recently called a “glaring lack of quality” in several key positions.
The fact that the Irishman sees no need to bolster the goalkeeping department is baffling as today’s showing up at Perth demonstrated. Joe Hart has unquestionably been a great addition to the club over the past few years and helped us regain our Scottish Premiership Crown when he arrived under Ange Postecoglou in the summer transfer window of 2021.
The former Manchester City goalkeeper is now clearly past his peak and there is no denying that the decline will only intensify as we go on. He’s come in for some criticism throughout his time in Scotland from the Celtic supporters, some of it deserved and also undeserved. But there is no hiding or shying away from the issue now, as it’s clear more and more errors are beginning to creep into his game as his powers wane.
Having said that, he’s a great character to have around the place and if it’s a possibility, Joe should be kept around as we move forward under Brendan Rodgers. Whether or not that’s to go straight into a coaching role or to be the experienced goalie who helps the new and younger recruit settle into the role with shared duties with the Englishman, albeit in a reduced capacity to what he’s doing currently.
After his second conceded goal from a corner in a row in the Scottish Premiership following the Motherwell game, these two aren’t isolated incidents and should serve as a warning sign that the ‘keeper is starting to decline.
However, the Irishman has now come out and stated he doesn’t see a new stopper being one of the more immediate concerns as we head into the halfway stage of the campaign.
As reported by Daily Record, he said: “It’s not one for now. I want to improve the squad over my time here, and particularly over these next couple of windows.” It’s certainly a puzzling one and is a testament to how badly recruitment has been lately, that the manager sees the funds needed to be directed to other areas of the team which are bereft of quality.
The boss also gave an insight into the talent of Mikey Johnston, but proceeded to caveat that praise with an understanding of why he has been used so sparingly, even when fit. The Republic of Ireland winger has done well for his national side when called up and many have wondered why he can’t get a start for his club even when they have several key stars out injured.
The Celtic manager said: “He was outstanding, really bright. He’s one of the best players I’ve seen at the club in one-v-one. How bright he is, how clever he is. If he can just take on board the team concept and when we don’t have the ball, he’s one you can put in.”