One man’s misery is another man’s fortune. At least, that is what young Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard might have thought when Scott Bain was ruled out of action with a fractured finger.
The highly-rated 21-year-old has been talked about in rather hushed tones at Parkhead but Brendan Rodgers allowed us a tantalising peak behind the curtain last year, telling the club's official website that Hazard had everything to be Celtic’s number one.
“I think he could be a very good keeper in the future for us,” Rodgers said. 'The future', however, still feels like light-years away.
With Craig Gordon past his best and Bain both out of action and out of form after a miserable night against Cluj, it looked like the door had finally swung open for Hazard to stake his claim for a place in Celtic’s first-team plans.
But any hopes the 21-year-old had of making his Scottish Premiership debut with a clover on his crest might have just come crashing down.
According to the BBC, Fraser Forster is on the verge of sealing an emotional return to where it all began. The former England international won three league titles in his formative years at Celtic and he’s heading back to Glasgow on a season-long loan deal from Southampton.
If and when Forster passes his medical, Hazard will go from third in the pecking order to fourth. A goalkeeper who is already an established Northern Ireland international with a senior cap to his name continues to find game-time at club level frustratingly out of reach.
So what does Hazard do now? Another loan move to a Championship club perhaps after a fine spell at Partick Thistle? Or should he now be asking serious questions about his role in Neil Lennon’s plans?
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