This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Craig Gordon has decided to stay at Celtic until at least January, despite losing his spot in the team to Scott Bain, according to Football Insider.
The 36-year-old has spent a long time debating his future at Parkhead after losing his starting place in the second half of last season, per Football Insider.
The former Hearts stopper was clear first choice under Brendan Rodgers when fit, but since suffering an injury he has lost his place as an almost unchallenged number one at Celtic Park.
Having started against Nomme Kalju in the away leg of the Champions League second qualifying round, in which many of the tried and trusted stars were rested, it seems Neil Lennon sees him as no more than a back-up to Bain.
In Bain, Celtic have a keeper confident with the ball at his feet and as commanding as the 36-year-old. Given Bain is now the clear first choice, you’d imagine it would take something out of Gordon’s control, such as a sudden loss of form or injury to the former Dundee man, for him to regain his starting spot.
Moreover, Conor Hazard has shown promise during his two loan spells away from Parkhead and given it’s now August and he hasn’t left on another temporary deal, he might expect the odd start this season.
Hazard did well at both Partick Thistle and Falkirk, earning a Northern Ireland cap in the process, and at 21 will hope to make his mark on the first-team sooner rather than later. A back-up goalkeeper is a glorified bench-warmer for the most part, and the youngster’s experiences away on loan are surely enough to see him lock up that role.
Gordon has been a great servant but has seen his career ravaged by unfortunate injuries since leaving Hearts for Sunderland, in what ended up being a British transfer record for a goalkeeper back in 2007.
Now, though, it might be best for all involved for him to reverse his decision and look for pastures new, allowing young Hazard to challenge the ever-improving Bain. Keeping an injury-prone 36 year-old to sit on the bench when a 21 year-old on lower wages could do the same job simply doesn’t make sense.