Why Celtic would be smart to look at Dundee United star Benjamin Siegrist to solve goalkeeping issues

If Celtic were watching Benjamin Siegrist in action for Dundee United against Hibs at the weekend it is hard to imagine they were coming away from Easter Road with any conclusion other than ‘he would be an upgrade on what we currently have’.

Benjamin Siegrist has reportedly been scouted by Celtic. Picture: SNS
Benjamin Siegrist has reportedly been scouted by Celtic. Picture: SNS

Are the three first-team keepers at Parkhead bad? No, they are not. The issue is that they are currently not good enough for a club with the stature and the ambitions of Celtic.

Scott Bain is a good back-up option. Vasilis Barkas could definitely still come good but has an issue with stopping shots. They only need to take a look along the M8 to see how costly that was for Hearts hugely last season.

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Then there is Conor Hazard. The penalty hero in the Scottish Cup final win over the Tynecastle side on Sunday at Hampden Park. A quick dose of realism will suggest that will be the Northern Irishman’s high point at the club, after all he looked suspect throughout the 90 minutes and extra time.

The Swiss goalkeeper has been United's best player this season. Picture: SNS

An upgrade is required.

The Athletic report the club are “considering” Fraser Forster who would be the obvious choice to fulfil the No.1 spot in what would be his third spell at Parkhead.

Then there is Benjamin Siegrist, who has reportedly been scouted by Celtic.

Signed by Dundee United in 2018 when Csaba Laszlo was boss, the Swiss ‘keeper wasn’t an instant success. He started the 2018/19 campaign in the second tier as back-up to Matej Rakovan. Even when he won the starting jersey he wasn’t overly convincing, especially when it came to dealing with high balls, a prerequisite for a goalkeeper in Scotland one would assume.

United fans were eventually treated to his prowess when facing shots at the end of that season. He hasn’t looked back since

Quiz fans of the Arabs on their key man across the past two campaigns and don't be surprised if many are opting for Seigrist ahead of Lawrence Shankland. That’s right, he has been that good and that influential, and would likely command sizeable transfer fee.

Save machine, windmill and attributes

Only Hamilton’s Ryan Fulton has faced more shots this season than the 28-year-old and only St Mirren’s Jak Alnwick has prevented more goals according to Wyscout.

To put not too fine a point on it, Siegrist is a save machine.

On Saturday at Easter Road he produced eight to allow United to be in a position to nick a point. He was like the windmill at the last hole of crazy golf, denying all competitors time and time again.

One particular double save, which displayed his ability to stop shots with his feet, his reflexes and powerful arms, prompted Hibs winger Martin Boyle into a fit of frustration. Amusing but also understandable.

Siegrist is a goalkeeper who wins points, annoys opponents and has a checklist of qualities.

He is reliable and commanding. Agile and can get down to shots quickly. His decision making is excellent, whether it is being proactive off his line to sweep, to hold a shot or to push it away from dangers.

He uses whatever body part he can to keep the ball out of the net, and when it comes down to it, that is what fans want from their goalkeeper.

And that’s what Celtic need.

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