Former Celtic forward Chris Sutton has urged the club to make the goalkeeper position the priority in the January transfer window.
It’s fair to say that things have not been going great for Neil Lennon’s men this season. They currently sit 19 points off the Premiership summit, and even with three games in hand, it will be tough for them to claw their way back into contention.
One key difference between this season and the last has been the number of goals the team have shipped. The Hoops have conceded 15 so far in the league, when last year they conceded 19 throughout the whole of the, albeit shortened, campaign.
And in the eyes of Sutton, speaking on the latest edition of the Record Celtic Podcast, the fact the club haven’t established a number-one goalkeeper has hurt them, and if the club are to take a step forward, they need to use the window to bring in a dominant shot-stopper.
He said: “It’s been interesting this season, the chopping and changing, and ‘he’s my number one’, then ‘he’s my number one’. You know, we had it with [Conor] Hazard, then [Scott] Bain and, [Vasilis] Barkas at the start of the season was chopped and then he’s back in. But there’s nothing to suggest that somehow their form is going to be good enough which warrants playing in goal for Celtic, so that must be the priority.”
Is a goalkeeper Celtic's biggest priority this window?
TIF Thoughts on Chris Sutton’s summary of Celtic’s goalkeeping situation…
Sutton’s comments do certainly raise an interesting point. Celtic haven’t had a permanent and established number-one since Craig Gordon was at the club, and whilst not the key reason they were able to win nine in a row, it could be argued that having an undisputed number-one and being able to name an unchanged team breeds confidence and familiarity in a backline that can offer something to build on.
So it’s no coincidence that with the goalkeeper position in flux right now, that the goals have started racking up against Celtic.
And even though the club only brought in Vasilis Barkas this past summer, if Lennon isn’t confident in him, then it might be time to cut losses and bring in someone that can take up the number-one spot and stay there.