Advertisement

Celtic transfer priority outlined by Chris Sutton as Brendan Rodgers told: 'learn your lesson'

Chris Sutton isn't convinced Celtic will be able to replace Joe Hart's experience - but a new No.1 must be the priority this summer.

Hart chose to retire at the end of last season after a trophy-laden career and three years in Glasgow. It leaves Scott Bain and Ben Siegrist as the two stoppers left at the club but Sutton believes neither is good enough to be the main man at Parkhead. Football Scotland exclusively revealed to you that Peter Vindahl Jensen is the Hoops' main goalie target this summer while Newcastle's Martin Dubravka is also on their shortlist.

Sutton reckons the Czech is a top option but his old club must move fast to get their business done as rivals Rangers are already ahead in that department with a handful of new faces already confirmed.

"All eyes are on the Euros but that doesn’t mean that Celtic can afford to take theirs off the ball in the transfer market," he wrote in his Daily Record column.

"And while it’s still very early days in the summer, Brendan Rodgers still needs to make a new No.1 his number one priority. There’s no doubt Celtic will need to do plenty of business in the window in several areas of the pitch. But they can’t underestimate just how important it’s going to be to land a top class goalkeeper.

"There is a massive hole to fill following the departure of Joe Hart – and it’s going to be nigh impossible to replace him like for like. But we’ve had all the goodbyes. Now it’s time for the new man to take the gloves. I can’t see Scott Bain or Benji Siegrist stepping up, so the recruitment department will be on the case for the new man between the sticks. There’s already been a lot of talk around the lines of Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka and Peter Vindahl Jensen at Sparta Prague.

"Look, (Dubravka) is no Joe Hart. He arrived at Celtic as a Premier League winner with 75 caps for England. There's no way Celtic will be able to replace that kind of experience.

"But Dubravka is at a similar stage of his career as Hart was before his move. At 35-years-old he probably has one more big move in him. He’s played a lot of games for Newcastle in the last year but isn’t going to be first choice. There’s every chance he saw what Hart achieved at Celtic and fancies a bit of that himself. Does he sit tight and ride out his final year at Newcastle as a back up, or perhaps drop down the division in England to get a regular game? Or does he come to Celtic, play every week and be in with the chance of winning silverware, while playing in the Champions League? I know what I would be doing.

"We’ve seen in recent years when Celtic have got it right – and when they’ve got it wrong. You look at the likes of Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon, top keepers with the right mentality for the club. Then you look at Vasilis Barkas, who arrived with a decent reputation but then never seemed to be able to stop a shot.

"Celtic need a keeper who can produce the goods when called into action and then pull out the stops when it matters in the Champions League – where he will be busy. There is time to get the recruitment up and running, but they also can’t afford to hang about. Rangers have already got the ball rolling with new signings checking in, but I don’t think Celtic should panic too much about what’s happening across the city.

"Rangers need a total rebuild, so there are going to be a lot of comings and goings at Ibrox. There is less work required at Celtic, but that doesn’t mean they can hang about. The lessons from last summer have to be learned. They can’t afford to go into the European campaign looking as undercooked as they did last season.

"Ideally, Rodgers will have some of his big targets in the building for the start of pre-season, rather than waiting until the end of the window. I get that it’s not always so straightforward. You sometimes have to wait for the ones you want because they are in demand. But Celtic can’t muck about either and with money in the bank, supporters aren’t likely to be patient."