There looks set to be significant upheaval in the goalkeeper ranks at Celtic in 2024. The incumbent Joe Hart is coming to the end of his contract of the club, and rather than trusting Scott Bain or Benjamin Siegrist to succeed him if he does leave, it looks like Brendan Rodgers wants to go out and recruit a new face.
That’s why the Hoops are reportedly planning a loan-to-buy deal for Caoimhin Kelleher at Liverpool, who could potentially command a club-record fee. In the meantime, Siegrist could join Hart in heading for the Parkhead exit door.
Celtic ready to offload Siegrist
According to Football Insider, Celtic are ready to loan out Siegrist before the end of the January transfer window. If a reasonable offer arrives in the time that remains, the Hoops are prepared to accept it, and that message will no doubt be passed on to his suitors.
“Multiple European clubs” have been considering moves for Siegrist in January, and news of his availability on loan will alert those interested parties. It just remains to be seen who makes the first move.
Siegrist deserved a bigger shot
It’s arguably a surprise that Siegrist hasn’t taken on a greater role at Celtic. Signed on a free transfer in 2022 off the back of what then-manager Ange Postecoglou called “fantastic” performances at Dundee United, he looked poised to mount a challenge for the no. 1 spot.
Siegrist had played 145 games for United, conceding an average of exactly one goal per match but also surpassing a half-century of clean sheets (52). In three of his four seasons, he ranked inside the league’s top four for shutouts, leading the way in 2019/20 with 12 to help his side achieve promotion.
He would then match that tally in the Scottish Premiership the following year and also made more saves (130) than any other ‘keeper in the division. His save percentage of 78.2 was also the second-best, so it was no surprise that he landed United’s player of the year and players’ player of the year awards.
He remained up there for those metrics in his final year at Tannadice too, finishing fourth for total saves (101) and fifth for save percentage (72.7). His former manager Micky Mellon called him a “brilliant goalkeeper” and said his success was down to training “like a monster”.
Celtic plot loan-to-buy move for “exceptional” target, could be record fee
Brendan Rodgers and the Hoops will have to break the bank to get the deal done.
Unfortunately, he’s barely had a look-in at Celtic. He was at least the immediate back-up to Hart at first as Postecoglou named him on the bench for all 19 league fixtures prior to a serious calf injury, and every Champions League group-stage match. He made his only two appearances for the club in the early rounds of the League Cup and helped Celtic thrash Ross County 4-1 and Motherwell 4-0. Perhaps, without his injury, he would have retained his spot for the semifinals against Kilmarnock and final against Rangers, which his side won 2-1.
As it was, he missed that chance to improve his standing and hasn’t played a single match this season. It was telling that, when Hart got himself suspended with a red card against Livingston in September, Rodgers looked to Bain as his substitute and then his starter. In fairness, even the Scotsman has only appeared in those two games, so Rodgers is clearly dissatisfied with both of his back-up options.
Siegrist may be under contract in Glasgow until 2026, but it looks like his Celtic career is as good as over.