Following Celtic’s failure to clinch their tenth successive Scottish Premiership title, changes are expected both on and off the pitch for The Bhoys this summer.
As reported by The Times, Neil Lennon’s side will more than likely be on the hunt for a new goalkeeper unless a miraculous change of fait occurs for £5m summer signing Vasilis Barkas.
Scottish football correspondent Douglas Alexander believes that Derby County No. 1 David Marshall would be the ‘obvious answer’ to Celtic’s goalkeeping conundrum.
Alexander also claims that the Marshall would be ‘open to returning home’ in order to enjoy an ‘Indian summer similar to Allan McGregor’s at Ibrox’.
The Rams goalie, signed from Wigan Athletic in the summer, has been a mainstay in the league this season, featuring 24 times before Derby’s encounter with Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening.
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Marshall has missed four matches through injury this season, Kelle Roos deputised well for the Scotsman but no eyebrows were raised when the summer signing was reintroduced to the starting eleven upon his return to fitness.
It goes without saying that he’d be a big miss for The Rams, having kept the joint seventh highest number of clean sheets in the league this season. It’s not just stats that prove his worth to the current setup though, his leadership skills have too been a key factor, leading to the 35-year-old becoming captain in Curtis Davies’ absence.
A return to his boyhood club may provide too big a pull for the veteran to turn down, especially due to unfinished business with the club having featured just sparingly during his five years with the first team between 2002 and 2007.
The emotional ties to the club, combined with the prospect of European football, should Celtic qualify for the Europa League this season, may just sway Marshall back towards Glasgow where he’ll be met with the opportunity to finish his playing career exactly where it started.
If a move was to manifest, it would almost certainly lead to Derby searching for a new goalkeeper of their own as it’s doubtful Roos will step up to be first choice ‘keeper again any time soon.