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Celtic weigh up January move for 28-year-old Swiss star – A wise move by Lennon?

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: Benjamin Siegrist of Dundee United looks on during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Celtic at Tannadice Park on August 22, 2020 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Pool via Getty Images)

Why Celtic should go all out for Benjamin Siegrist in January

According to the Daily Mail (h/t The Scottish Sun), Celtic are weighing up a January raid on domestic rivals Dundee United for goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist. 

As per the report, Hoops boss Neil Lennon is keen to bolster his options between the sticks during the mid-season trading period and has identified the Tannadice No.1 as a potential target next month. Siegrist has also attracted interest from several clubs in England, Germany and the Netherlands as a result of his rich vein of form in the Scottish Premiership this season.

It has also been claimed that Siegrist could be available for a fee of around £1million in January, with his contract at Dundee United set to expire in 2022. 

Profile

Benjamin Siegrist rose through the youth ranks of FC Basel in his native Switzerland before moving to Premier League outfit Aston Villa as a teenager back in January 2009. He went on to represent the club across various age-groups and in a few friendly fixtures but never made a competitive appearance. 

The shot-stopper spent time on loan at Burton Albion, Solihull Moors, Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers to further his development. He returned to his homeland with top-flight side FC Vaduz in 2016 and made 37 appearances over two seasons. 

BRECHIN, SCOTLAND – JULY 03: Benjamin Siegrist of Dundee United in action during the pre-season friendly between Brechin City and Dundee United at Glebe Park on July 3, 2018 in Brechin, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Siegrist was snapped up by Dundee United in the Scottish Championship in 2018 and helped his club secure promotion to the top-flight with 12 clean sheets in the following campaign. The former Swiss U-21 international has made an impressive transition to the Scottish Premiership this term. 

Siegrist could be the man to end the Hoops’ goalkeeping issues

Celtic splashed a staggering £5million to rope in Vasilis Barkas from AEK Athens in the summer but the Greek international has failed to establish himself at Parkhead. His inconsistency has forced Neil Lennon to turn to back-ups Scott Bain and Conor Hazard, with the former also coming under scrutiny for some lacklustre displays in the Europa League.

Hazard has started the club’s last three games in all competitions and emerged as an unlikely hero in the penalty-shootout win over Hearts in the Scottish Cup final as the Hoops completed a historic quadruple-treble. However, the youngster did commit a few blunders in that closely-contested fixture, reminding that Celtic need an experienced figure between the sticks during the second half of the campaign. 

Benjamin Siegrist might not be the most high-profile option for Celtic in the January window but he could be well worth a punt for the reigning champions given his exploits at Tannadice. The Swiss star boasts a better save percentage (73) as compared to Barkas (63) and Bain (46) in the Scottish Premiership this season.

PAISLEY, SCOTLAND – MAY 26: Benjamin Siegrist of Dundee United tips the ball over his bar during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Play-off Final second leg match between St Mirren and Dundee United at St Mirren Park on May 26, 2019 in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Verdict

Those numbers clearly prove that Benjamin Siegrist has fared way better than Celtic’s existing shot-stoppers. The towering goalkeeper has often seen his progress thwarted by a lack of opportunities in the past but he seems to have really come to the fore at Dundee United. At 28, he still potentially has his best years ahead of him.

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Having said that, Siegrist could be a real bargain for the Hoops in January if he is, indeed, available for £1m.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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