Celtic must not let go of veteran Scotsman at any cost despite on-loan star’s excellence

Why Celtic boss Neil Lennon should keep hold of Craig Gordon this season

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon was handed a rare start in the Europa League dead rubber against CFR Cluj last week. Despite conceding twice in Romania in his first outing since September, he delivered a strong performance that kept the score down.

Craig Gordon, 36, whose contract is up in the summer, has been second choice to Southampton loanee Fraser Forster this season. He started against Cluj on Thursday but was back on the bench for the 2-0 win over Hibernian on Sunday.

However, the veteran Scotsman has insisted the club hasn’t spoken about an extension as of now and could leave in January for regular game time. (h/t the Daily Record)

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon in action. (Getty Images)
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon in action. (Getty Images)

Keeping that in mind, should Celtic keep hold of Gordon and allow him to run down his contract? Celtic signed Fraser Forster on a season-long loan from Southampton this past summer.

Forster has proven to be an excellent recruit for the Hoops, helping Neil Lennon’s side win the Scottish League Cup earlier this month with a Man of the Match display against traditional rivals Rangers in the final. The Englishman has repaid the manager’s faith by delivering impressing performances, week in and week out.

Forster’s addition has pushed Gordon as the club’s No.2. He is the back-up goalkeeper for Celtic but he is out of contract at the end of this season. 

Lennon has preferred Gordon to Scott Bain currently, but he’s aware that the 36-year-old Scotsman might want to spend his final playing days getting regular minutes under his belt.

Neil Lennon is doing well in his second spell as Celtic manager. (Getty Images)
Neil Lennon is doing well in his second spell as Celtic manager. (Getty Images)

However, the Hoops cannot afford to lose Gordon, at least in January. Gordon, who turns 37 this month, has only played six times this year, with his recent outing coming in the 2-0 Europa League defeat to Cluj. But Lennon still rates him highly and wants to keep him at the club for next season. (h/t The Sun)

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If Gordon is not playing regularly for Celtic, it would make sense for him to move away. At the age of 36, he is still good enough to feature regularly for a club in the Scottish Premiership. He has played at the highest level for club and country, winning major honours at Celtic.

Craig Gordon of Celtic looks on dejected after PSG score their seventh goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. (Getty Images)
Craig Gordon of Celtic looks on dejected after PSG score their seventh goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. (Getty Images)

Verdict

It might be tempting for the Hoops to cash in on the veteran Scotland international in January but the club should look to keep hold of him until the end of the season. An injury or suspension for Forster could bring undue pressure on the team.

Plus, Forster is only on loan so there are no guarantees that he will return next season. Thus, Celtic must do everything possible to keep Gordon happy.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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