Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard could be heading out on loan, the Scottish Sun reports.
What is the latest transfer news on Conor Hazard?
The report discloses that the 6 ft 6 stopper is wanted on loan by clubs in both England and Scotland.
It was claimed by the Daily Record last month that Dundee wanted to take Hazard on loan, although the Scottish Sun don’t mention any potential suitors themselves.
Transfermarkt shows that Hazard has had a few spells out on loan before, playing for Dundee, Falkirk and Partick Thistle.
Is it best for Hazard to leave on loan?
It makes sense for the 23-year-old to leave on loan when you look at the current goalkeeping situation at Celtic. Transfermarkt shows that the Hoops currently have four goalkeepers in the first-team squad – that is arguably too many.
The recent signing of Joe Hart might well have pushed Hazard down to fourth choice, as two of the other goalkeepers in the squad, Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain, have both played first-team football this season, whilst Hazard hasn’t.
The Northern Irishman may have to head out on loan if he wants to play regular football. Even if Bain or Barkas leave before the transfer window closes, the chances of featuring on a weekly basis would remain pretty slim.
How has Hazard performed in his time at Celtic?
Hazard has not had that many first-team opportunities at Celtic Park. Last season he made six appearances for the Hoops, conceding three goals and keeping four clean sheets.
He also featured in the delayed 2019/20 Scottish Cup final against Hearts, where he conceded three times in 120 minutes as the game ended 3-3. Hazard was the hero in the penalty shoot-out, saving twice as the Bhoys won 4-3 on penalties to clinch a fourth successive domestic treble.
Does Hazard have a future at Celtic?
It is too early to tell if Hazard has a future at Celtic Park. It will likely depend on what happens with the other three goalkeepers that are currently at the club. Barkas’ future at Celtic could be in doubt after he lost his place in the first-team to Bain, having made an error against Midtjylland.
If a team come in for Barkas during the transfer window, it would not be a surprise to see the Hoops accept an offer of either a loan deal or a permanent transfer.
Barkas has not been able to hold down a permanent position in the Celtic squad, making 23 appearances and conceding 22 goals since arriving last summer. As covered by GIVEMESPORT, he was heavily criticised by former Hoops striker Chris Sutton for his aforementioned error against Midtjylland.
Should Barkas leave, Hazard could become the third-choice goalkeeper at the club, but he may want to play regular football, which just doesn’t seem likely at Celtic in the short-term.
Hart has signed a three-year deal with the Hoops, and unless he has a huge loss of form or gets injured, he will seemingly be first-choice goalkeeper going forward.
What is in Hazard’s favour is his age. At 23, he potentially has many years ahead of him in football. He also has a contract with Celtic until 2023.
It would make the most sense for the player is to go out on loan, play a full season of first-team football and come back to Celtic next summer to see what the goalkeeping situation is like.