Celtic's Goalkeeping Alternatives to Fraser Forster – Ranked

Having fallen down the pecking order at Southampton under Ralph Hassenhuttl, Fraser Forster's career was stagnating at an alarming rate until an old companion offered him a lifeline – and a chance to sort his head out.

After five years away from the club, Neil Lennon brought Forster back to Celtic on a season-long loan, and just like that, Hoops fans reconciled with an icon.

Fraser Forster and Neil Lennon embrace after Celtic's victory over Barcelona in 2012

'La Gran Muralla' hit the ground running at his former employers, emulating the sort of form that earned him his first England cap. Forster underwent a sudden rebirth but, in the blink of an eye, Celtic are preparing themselves for life without him once more.

Forster looks set to return to his parent club to fight the inconsistent Alex McCarthy for a place in the first team, leaving the Hoops no option but to enter the market for a new goalkeeper. Without further ado, here's a look at five alternatives we could see lining up at Parkhead next season.

David Marshall

David Marshall

Imagine announcing yourself on the big stage with two clean sheets against Barcelona at just 19 years old. Well, that's what David Marshall did at Celtic. He even managed to save a penalty from Ronaldinho; not bad for a fresh-faced teenager.

The Hoops are rumoured to be looking at resigning their former academy graduate. His current employers Wigan have entered into administration and are desperate to offload some players on the cheap. At 35 years old, Celtic would be getting a proven, experienced player without the pressure of a big transfer fee – albeit not a long-term fix.

Rating: 6/10

Vasilis Barkas

Vasilios Barkas

One of the more glamorous options on Celtic's shortlist, Vasilios Barkas burst onto the scene during AEK Athens' dismal Champions League run in 2018.

Due to a considerable gulf in quality, AEK were Group E's whipping boys. A steady flow of shots were aimed at Barkas' goal but, to his credit, he kept a more than reasonable number of them out. With the precious little protection offered by the AEK defence, we were able to witness a full repertoire of stops on the big stage.

Since then, the 26-year-old has won ten caps for Greece and holds an impressive record of ten clean sheets in 20 league games this term. With AEK looking to cash in, the commanding shot-stopper is available for around £5m – and unlike Marshall, he can hold down the gloves for some time.

Rating: 9/10

Joe Hart

Joe Hart

Having been released by former employers Burnley, Joe Hart is available on a free transfer – a reminder that, since his title-winning days at Manchester City, the former England number one has struggled to find a home where he's valued.

Some would say he's lost it, others may argue that the game around him has evolved. At 33 years old however, Hart should still (sort of) be operating in his prime years as a goalkeeper. With his Premier League career disintegrating, making the move to Glasgow might just prove to be the smartest option. It worked for Forster, didn't it?

Rating: 7/10

Vaclav Hladky

Vaclav Hladky

Vaclav Hladky achieved SPFL notoriety by being that absolute nuisance in the St. Mirren goal. The Czech shot-stopper was a key player for the Buddies, and has been single handedly credited for their survival this term.

The 29-year-old is now a free agent, having left the club earlier in the month. Moving to the champions would be a massive step up for Hladky, but with his wage demands expected to be low, and with backup keeper Craig Gordon's departure, it may prove to be a smart piece of business for the Bhoys.

Rating 6/10

Angus Gunn

Angus Gunn

And for the wildcard option...

Since his highly anticipated move to St Mary's in 2018, Gunn has struggled to perform for the Saints, and with Fraser Forster returning to fight for his spot, Southampton are willing to sacrifice the 24-year-old in the process.

Setting aside his unimpressive performances at St Mary's, there is undoubtedly a player in there – and there's more than enough time to bring that talent out. The Hoops may want to utilise their good relationship with the Saints to try and lure him north of the border. His old man's a former Scotland international too.

Rating: 8/10

Source : 90min