When it became apparent that Celtic were going to completely renovate the top officials at Parkhead, one member of the Hoops team will have been fretting the most.
That will have been Nick Hammond. Celtic’s head of recruitment was reportedly facing the sack earlier this year but he has now left of his own admission. The thought process is that the Bhoys will hire a new director of football.
They should be fortunate that he’s departing too. After all, the business he helped the club conclude last summer was rather abject.
A deal to bring the calamitous Vasilis Barkas to Celtic has hardly gone down well either. He cost £4.5m but has been rather error-prone and now can’t even get in the team.
The goalkeeper was particularly bad against AC Milan in the Europa League and he has cost his team dearly in the league as well.
Scott Bain has also been guilty of mistakes this term while Conor Hazard, the hero on penalties in the Scottish Cup final back in December, was incredibly poor during normal time in that game.
Therefore, Celtic have every right to regret signing an adept stopper last summer. They tried to bring Fraser Forster back to Glasgow after his successful loan spell in 2019/20.
He is a man mountain between the sticks and standing at 6 foot 7, covers plenty of the goal. Unfortunately for Hammond and co, Southampton wanted him to fight for the number one jersey south of the border.
Forster has played on only ten occasions for the Saints this term but would have been a valuable asset for Celtic.
“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 spend it.”
Dubbed an “exceptional goalkeeper” by Kevin Campbell, a player of Forster’s capabilities could have lifted Celtic to a far greater season than they’ve endured.
Forster made an immense impact at Celtic and as we’ve seen with Allan McGregor at Rangers this term, those between the sticks are often key.
Speaking to FFC, McAvennie added: “He’s (McGregor) basically won the league for them, and I’m not being disrespectful to the rest of the players.”
In a season where defensive and goalkeeping errors have been rife for the Hoops, Forster could have made an enormous difference.
It’s a huge shame they didn’t bring him back to Glasgow.