Who will challenge Joe Hart between the sticks next season?

As the summer transfer window nears, Celtic currently have six first-team goalkeepers under contract.

Despite this, we have only seen Joe Hart and Benjamin Siegrist between the sticks this season, the latter making a mere two appearances. It’s clear from that stat alone, that Celtic could conceivably run with half the amount of keepers currently on the books.

But, come the close season, will Ange trim our complement of goalies? And, if so, Who should stay?


Joe Hart has been the first-choice keeper under Ange for two seasons now, making 47 appearances across all competitions this season.

However, somewhat surprisingly, there are still some within the Celtic support who remain unconvinced that the former England international is the right man for the job.

Hart has had what some would describe as a roller-coaster career, from the highs of Premier League domination and England caps to the lows of regular loan spells and being an unwanted third-choice goalkeeper.

Since joining Celtic, many observers have been impressed with the 36-year-old’s obvious leadership qualities and professionalism. Despite all that, there have been a few performances this season where Hart has shown that he still has a blooper in him.

In Celtic’s 3-0 defeat at the weekend, the English keeper did not paint himself in a good light for the first two goals. Rangers’ midfielder John Lundstram struck a shot right at Hart who then parried the ball back into the six-yard area where Todd Cantwell fired it back towards goal and through the legs of Celtic’s number 1.

Despite some criticism from a small section of fans, Hart has the backing of his manager who, when speaking to PLZ Soccer recently, said: “I know it seems like he doesn’t have a lot to do, but it’s still a very important part of our structure with the way we start the build-up of the game.”

Someone else who has come out to praise the veteran keeper is club captain Callum McGregor, who told The Scotsman: “Joe has done everything in the game, and we are lucky to have him. It’s brilliant to have someone of that ilk and that personality in the group every day. He is always pushing the young lads and even the experienced ones as well, he has a really good strong core.”

It is clear to see that Hart has made a massive impact on the squad both on and off the pitch, but it seems he will always have his doubters. With only one other keeper playing a couple of League Cup games this season, perhaps he needs a new challenger to keep him on his toes…


Former Aston Villa and Dundee United stopper, Siegrist has not made the impact many expected from him this season. After suffering a calf strain at the turn of the year, the Swiss keeper has disappeared from view.

Despite returning to training in March, the former Swiss under-21 cap has not featured in the match-day squad since January.


Bain has made 74 appearances for Celtic over a five-year period and seems content with being a back-up. Having failed to feature at all this season, it looks as though his time at Celtic could be up.

It has been suggested that the Scotland international, still only 31, is a good personality to have around the squad, and that his ‘homegrown’ status could be a reason for keeping him at the club, but he has become a non-contributing player under Ange and should move on to pastures new.


The curious case of Conor Hazard; the full international who has been at the club for nine years (six seasons as a first-teamer) and only played seven first-team games. Having won a Scottish Cup that wrapped up a quadruple treble after saving two penalties in the penalty shoot-out against Hearts, Hazard went on to win a Finnish league during a loan spell with HJK Helsinki.

He performed really well in Finland, winning the 2022 Veikkausliiga player of the year, and should perhaps consider moving back there when his contract expires at the end of this month.


Vasilis Barkas is the goalkeeper who prefers to play left-back; the shot-stopper who doesn’t stop shots; the keeper who has been affectionately nick-named ‘hologram hands’.

Yet, Barkas came with a reputation, with Champions League experience and international spurs, and with a £5 million price tag to boot.

His time at Celtic has been an unmitigated disaster and, if we are able to extract a sizeable fee from Utrecht, then it will be the finest piece of hoodwinkery since we convinced New York Red Bulls to part with £3.5 million for Patryk Klimala.


Another keeper who is due to return from loan is England under-20 cap Tobi Oluwayemi. The 20-year-old was sent out to Cork City to gain first-team experience, but has only featured twice on account of a groin injury sustained in an early appearance.

Tobi sat on the bench twice last season for our Conference League games against FK Bodø/Glimt, having signed from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2019, and much is expected of the youngster. Let’s hope he can return to the club, regain full fitness, and force his way into Ange’s plans.

It remains to be seen whether Ange will look to bring in another keeper this summer or if someone already on the books is in the Australian’s plans. It certainly appears that the other keepers in the squad right now are not at Joe Hart’s standard, meaning the former England first-choice could be moving into his third season at Celtic without any real challenge for his gloves.


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