When Celtic signed Joe Hart from Tottenham Hotspur, it was a decision that raised a lot of eyebrows and caused some disappointment. The English goalkeeper had not been the number one at a club for a long time, and had struggled for form for the previous five seasons. Thus, many believed that the Hoops had made a transfer mistake.
Around a year on and Hart has firmly established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for Celtic, won a Premiership and League Cup double with them, is once again playing Champions League football and is a fan favourite.
In many ways, the story of his rise at Celtic is similar to that of Ange Postecoglou, whose appointment was also met with a lot of criticism.
Not only has Hart impressed on the pitch but has also established himself as a leader in this Celtic team, something that they needed following the departure of Scott Brown. And the Englishman seems to be very fond of the club’s support as well. As reported by the Daily Record, he said:
"“This club is a special club when it comes to the support, so it doesn’t need occasions like that (Madrid) for you to feel like you need to give back. I feel like as soon as I put this shirt on, I’m in a pretty special place. We will work hard, we will have our heads down and we will see where it takes us.”"
Hart sends beautiful message to Celtic supporters
It is incredible how much has changed over the past year or so, under the management of Postecoglou.
Celtic have gone from a side that finished trophyless and 25 points behind the Rangers in the league to Premiership and League Cup champions, and are now playing in the Champions League against teams like Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig.
Hart has certainly played his part in those successes. And even though the club signed another very good goalkeeper in the form of Benjamin Siegrist this summer, the Englishman has remained number one between the posts.
Hart might be 35 years of age but at the moment, he is showing no signs of slowing down and could end up earning himself a contract extension with Celtic soon.