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Celtic’s goalkeeping issue reared its ugly head against Cluj

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Scott Bain had a poor night between the sticks in the embarrassing defeat to Cluj on Tuesday, and it raises the issue surrounding the Celtic number one jersey.

On the chalkboard

Neil Lennon’s side have been linked with players in pretty much every single position on the park in recent weeks apart from one – goalkeeper.

We’ve heard of right-back rumours, young centre-back reinforcements, Kieran Tierney replacements, central midfield options, further striking support and wingers to add competition up front, but all is quiet on the goalkeeper front.

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Earlier in the window, Asmir Begovic had been tentatively touted, yet here we are after a poor goalkeeping performance at Parkhead with Bain and Craig Gordon as the club’s options between the sticks.

Gordon lost his spot as first-choice after suffering an injury last season and at 36 his best days look to be behind him. He is also entering the final year of his contract.

Bain stepped up well in his absence, but does he have the pedigree of a ‘keeper capable of playing in Europe’s premier competition? A CV of Hibs, Dundee, Alloa, Elgin and Aberdeen suggests not, with Tuesday night’s sub-par performance confirming as much.

Here we go again

At 36, Gordon should be being moved into the role of third-choice keeper, effectively a coach who swings some crosses in during the warm-up. Yet, he’s the club’s back-up and could expect some minutes this season.

It’s time to throwback to another Celtic legend in the video below. This time, Keith from C’mon the Hoops remembers Stiliyan Petrov…

Bain, too, should’ve been looking at a demotion this summer. He’s an admirable back-up, but he’s far from ready to be a Champions League group-stage keeper. Bain covered for Gordon well last season, but if the club wanted to secure European football he should have been relegated to the bench with a more accomplished stopper coming in.

Both are a tier too high in the pecking order of a club with expectations of competing in the Champions League, yet with no targets on the horizon, it looks like they’ll have to do for the coming domestic season and potential Europa League campaign.

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Article title: Celtic’s goalkeeping issue reared its ugly head against Cluj

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