What exactly have Celtic signed in Joe Hart?

Updated: Sep 25

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart

So it seems there's finally a goalkeeper worthy of the number one spot through the doors at Parkhead. Celtic have completed the signing of Joe Hart, on a three-year deal after entering into talks with the club since the end of last month.

The former England stopper still had two years left on his contract with perennial Premiership challengers, Tottenham, but was deemed surplus to requirements with new manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, recently signing Pierluigi Gollini (not to be confused with legendary ref Pierluigi Collina) on loan from Atalanta.

Although details of the fee have not been officially released, it's thought Big Ange has spent around £1m on his new man between the posts. At age 34, Hart still has so much to offer both on and off the field and that's what we'll look at here.

What can the Parkhead faithful expect?

Hart turned pro at age 17 as he broke into the Shrewsbury Town team after spending his youth career at his hometown club. He quickly established himself as a top prospect and earned his first youth cap for England in the autumn of 2005. In the same season, he was voted League Two's best goalkeeper, earning his place in the PFA Team of the Year and the Premier League scouts came knocking.

Manchester City, pre-middle eastern investors, won the race for his signature and he cemented his place as number one under then manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson. Throughout his 10+ years at City, Hart was reliable and inspired between the posts, helping his often star-studded side collect two Premiership winners medals, two league cups and one FA cup.

In 2016, Pep Guardiola dropped Hart in favour of the fleet-footed, Claudio Bravo, who suited his desire to 'play out from the back'. Hart eventually left the Manchester side in a decision that Guardiola remarked was one of his toughest decisions.

Spells at Torino, West Ham, Burnley and most recently Spurs followed for a player who will be looking to find a new home in Glasgow as the club's top goalkeeper.

Playing with Hart

Celtic have secured a passionate, commanding and vocal goalkeeper with a plethora of experience. Hart has played at the top level of European competition at both club and international level, competing at the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 as well as the Euros in 2012 and 2016. This is a man who still shares the record for the most Golden Gloves (four) with Petr Cech.

Undoubtedly his biggest assets will be his communication and organisation of the men directly in front of him. Hart is the next piece in the defensive puzzle that Ange Postecoglou is slowly beginning to solve, after the arrival of Swedish international defender, Carl Starfelt.

Doubters may point to the fact that Hart has made some high-profile mistakes in the past and does not 'fit the profile' of Celtic's recent transfer policy. But I could count the list of goalkeepers who have played at the top level as long as Hart has and who don't have a few mistakes on their record on one hand.

As for his age, 34 is the prime for many keepers playing regular first team football. We only need to look across the city to see how important Allan McGregor is to Sevco, who is five years Hart's senior.

Hart is a great shot-stopper, a massive personality and most importantly a winner, who will be looking to add to his already impressive personal trophy cabinet during his time at Paradise. #WelcomeHart