Following their ninth Scottish Premiership title in consecutive seasons, Celtic find themselves on the cusp of clinching a tenth successive title and creating history by winning 10 in a row. While much of the credit goes to the outfield players and the goal scorers at Celtic, the reliability of their goalkeepers has not gone unnoticed.
Goalkeepers Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon have lived up to their expectations and have been a part of a sturdy back-line in the last decade. However, with Forster returning to his home club Southampton and Gordon being released, the Hoops find themselves with only one senior team keeper in Scott Bain.
As per a report from HITC, former Dundee goalie Bain was backed by captain Scott Brown to take up the important position between the sticks for the upcoming season. However, his poor performance in Celtic’s 4-0 loss against PSG in their third pre-season friendly has raised concerns about him being the first team goalkeeper.
Celtic have been linked with a few goalkeepers this summer to fortify their defense. One among these is current AEK number one Vasilios Barkas, who has been in fine form for the Greek side over the last four seasons. With only a single injury in the 2017-18 season ruling him out for four months, Barkas has been a solid shot-stopper for the Athens based club.
He has made 111 appearances in domestic and European competitions for AEK Athens, conceding only 84 and keeping a very impressive 61 clean sheets. The Celts had an initial offer of £3.5million turned down by the Greek giants, sources citing that they were looking for bids upward of £5million for the Greek international. Likewise, Celtic have reportedly had a second bid of £5.5 million accepted for Barkas.
The Bhoys had also been linked with Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who has had ample experience playing for some of the top clubs in Europe’s smaller leagues. The Swedish international has been on loan at Cagliari this season, starting in 17 matches for the Isolani and keeping 4 clean sheets. Entering the twilight of his career, the goalkeeper would be a perfect fit for Celtic. Standing at 6 foot 5, he would be a commanding presence in goal and would be a fine choice ahead of Scott Bain.
A few other names linked with them are former English shot-stopper Joe Hart and former St Mirren goalie Vaclav Hladky. As Celtic look to bolster their ranks for the upcoming season, their fans will be heartened to see the arrival of at least one of these talented goalkeepers with the most likely one being Vasilios Barkas. Forster and Gordon both have made their mark in this era, will the next keeper be able to lead the Celts into this next chapter of their history?