Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard has left Parkhead on a loan deal.
In a recent post on the Celtic website, the Bhoys confirmed that the 23-year-old shot-stopper has joined Finnish side HJK Helsinki on a year-long loan spell, with the youngster’s temporary stint at The Bolt Arena running until December 2022.
Speaking about the goalkeeper’s departure, Ange Postecoglou said: “We are sure this move will be good for Conor, it will be an important opportunity for game-time and I know he will embrace this next period. In HJK Helsinki we believe it will be a great environment for him.
“I know HJK and Celtic have enjoyed good co-operation before and I think the loan period will be very positive for everyone concerned. We all wish Conor the very best.”
Having made his Celtic debut in the impressive 3-2 Europa League victory over LOSC Lille last season, Hazard quickly wrote himself into the club’s folklore just ten days later, saving two penalties in the rearranged 2019/20 Scottish Cup final against Hearts – a victory that sealed the Hoops’ unprecedented quadruple treble.
However, despite his instant impact last term, the 23-year-old has since struggled to cement a place in Postecoglou’s first-team squad, as, aside from the cup final and the Lille victory, the ‘keeper has made just six senior appearances for the Bhoys – with none of these outings coming during the reign of the Greek-Australian manager.
Indeed, this would appear to suggest that the £360k-rated man may not have much of a future at Parkhead, an idea that would appear to be supported by Postecoglou’s calling up of the 18-year-old England youth international Tobi Oluwayemi to his first-team squad.
As such, with the player who Neil Lennon dubbed an “absolutely excellent” goalkeeper currently on a contract at Parkhead that expires in the summer of 2023, it would not appear to be an unrealistic prediction to make that the Northern Ireland international could well have already played his final game for Celtic.