PAT BONNER has urged Craig Gordon not to quit Celtic when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The Hoops goalkeeping legend believes the stand-in shotstopper still has a role to play in the continued success of the champions.
Gordon lost his first-team place to Scott Bain at the start of this year with ex-boss Brendan Rodgers deciding to give the former Dundee man some game time.
He kept the No.1 position until the end of the campaign with the former Hearts and Sunderland star waiting patiently on the sidelines.
But Gordon won back his top-side place when Bain injured a hand in the side’s shock Champions League exit as they crashed 4-3 at home to Cluj in August.
However, following appearances in two Europa League play-offs against AIK Stockholm, with the Hoops winning through on a 6-1 aggregate, and a 2-1 Betfred League Cup victory over Dunfermline, Fraser Forster returned and it was back to the substitutes’ bench for Gordon.
Since the loan arrival of the Southampton custodian, the veteran has made only two appearances – the 5-0 League Cup win over Partick Thistle and the 2-0 Europa League defeat against Cluj in Romania.
WINNER…Craig Gordon shows off a League Cup medal.
Gordon has admitted he is considering his future as he bids to regain his place in the Scotland international squad battling for a place in next summer’s Euro 2020 Finals.
Bonner, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “It’s difficult for Craig. He’s done exceptionally well at Celtic. Even when he was brought back for the Cluj game recently, he made some excellent saves and you need a top-quality second-choice goalkeeper.
“You need to be ready to play when called upon in that situation and he proved in Romania that he is.
“Craig is 36. His career got back on track at Celtic, he won medals and made money. If it was me and I was in his shoes, I would stay.
“I think his next step is getting into coaching and thinking about the next part of his career, so where else would you go where you are going to be involved in European football and winning trophies?.
“He could still play for another couple of years and who knows what can happen? He could be back in the Celtic team at the drop of a hat.
“I understand the international situation is a big thing for him and, if he’s not playing at Celtic, he probably won’t play for Scotland.
“But Craig would always be in the squad because he’s good enough and going to the Euros could be a lovely end to his career.”
* MERRY Christmas, folks! The Scotzine team wishes all our readers a fabulous festive occasion and a prosperous 2020 to follow. Have a good one!