Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Celtic Are Closing In On This Swiss Goalkeeper: Another Shrewd Move From The Hoops?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from the Scottish Sun is believed to be true, Celtic are closing in on Benjamin Siegrist despite interest from south of the border. Preston North End and Ipswich Town are also keen on securing his services in the summer window. But the goalkeeper, available on a Bosman after leaving Dundee United upon contract expiry, is set for a Parkhead switch in the due course of time.

The 30-year-old former Switzerland international was roped in by Aston Villa from the youth ranks of Basel. He spent his time with the reserves before being loaned out to Football League as well as non-league outfits in England for senior minutes. Spells with Burton Albion, Cambridge United, Solihull Moors and Wycombe Wanderers did not help him much in terms of growth and gametime, and Villa eventually accepted a minuscule fee from Vaduz, allowing him a return to his homeland.

A promising stint at Vaduz saw him completing a transfer to Tannadice Park back in summer 2018. He played his part in their top-flight promotion two years later and maintained the ‘number 1’ status between the sticks over the past couple of seasons.

However, Siegrist is unlikely to return to the lower leagues of the English pyramid irrespective of an assured starting status. He would be the understudy to Joe Hart at Celtic Park, but a move to Glasgow is indeed more fascinating following their Premiership triumph.

Benjamin Siegrist in action against Celtic
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Albian Ajeti of Celtic reacts during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Dundee United at on September 25, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Why Celtic Should Rope Him In

The Bhoys, on the other hand, have confirmed Vasilis Barkas’ loan exit to Eredivisie club Utrecht. The £5m signing from AEK Athens has been a massive disappointment since his high-profile summer move in 2020, whereas young academy custodian Conor Hazard is currently enjoying his football in Finland with HJK. Scott Bain remains the only alternative who extended his contract earlier this year but has settled as a sporadic option with just 4 appearances last season across competitions.

The Old Firm rivals Rangers were also after the Swiss keeper as per the winter rumours. They are also on the hunt for a new shot-stopper amid uncertainty over the future of 40-year-old Allan McGregor and the celts, therefore, must step up the chase to avoid a transfer tug-of-war.

Although Bain has been a decent back-up to Hart, the addition of Siegrist would provide more competition given the number of games the Hoops are likely to feature in the upcoming term. A berth in the Champions League group stages makes them the desired destination for many footballers and the former Tangerines veteran, too, must grab this opportunity in the forthcoming future.

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