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Exclusive: Frank McAvennie believes Celtic’s failure to sign goalkeeper cost them title

Frank McAvennie has exclusively told Football FanCast that Celtic’s failure to sign a goalkeeper cost them the chance of winning 10 in a row.

In each of the previous eight seasons, the Hoops have had either Craig Gordon or Fraser Forster as their main shotstopper, but the latter’s loan deal expired last summer, whilst Gordon rejected a new contract offer before joining Hearts.

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Celtic did bring in AEK Athens goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, leaving Scott Bain and youngster Conor Hazard to compete for the number two spot.

But Barkas and Bain have both been in and out the team, whilst Northern Ireland international Hazard enjoyed a brief spell in the side around Christmas when Bain was injured.

McAvennie revealed that Celtic did try and bring Forster back to Paradise, although the England shotstopper ended up staying with parent-club Southampton, where he’s started three of their previous four Premier League matches.

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And the former Hoops striker admitted that not replacing Forster allowed Rangers to cruise to their first league title since 2011.

He told Football FanCast: “I think they wanted him in the summer and he wouldn’t come. So I don’t know if the fans would be too happy about it.

I think that was the biggest problem going for 10, they didn’t have a goalkeeper. Somebody went out and bought Barkas, but no disrespect to the boy, he’s not good enough for Celtic. And Bain has not done it, he’s not brave enough.

“Look at what Allan McGregor has done for Rangers, he’s basically won the league for them, and I’m not being disrespectful to the rest of the players.

“But Forster won the league for Celtic last season, he won the cup – they were battered by Rangers and Celtic won it 1-0. When you have got a good goalkeeper, that’s what happens. He was worth the money, I don’t know why they didn’t spent it.”

Celtic’s defensive issues have been a major reason for their struggles this season. The managerless Hoops have already conceded more than they shipped throughout the previous two campaigns, not helped by the amount of chopping and changing between the sticks.

Article title: Exclusive: Frank McAvennie believes Celtic’s failure to sign goalkeeper cost them title

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