After the arrival of Joel Pereira, and Colin Doyle’s new contract, Zdenek Zlamal looks like third choice goalkeeper at Hearts now.
The Czech stopper made a few errors towards the end of last season and early this term, which looks to have cost him his starting berth.
His manager Craig Levein recently confirmed he was never likely to leave in the summer, insisting he wants to fight for his place in goals again (Daily Record).
With the options Hearts have at their disposal now though, what does the future hold for the 33-year-old?
January move could beckon for Hearts’ Zlamal
Zlamal hasn’t been terrible this year, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t made any mistakes. Perhaps the worst was against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.
His reluctance to come off the line allowed Odsonne Edouard to nip in front of him, which lead to Zlamal bringing him down in the box. It was a harsh decision, but if the Czech stopper is out quicker, Willie Collum doesn’t have one to make.
This reluctance appeared again earlier this term against Aberdeen, which allowed to Sam Cosgrove to net with ease. His positioning has been critiqued too, with Lawrence Shankland’s first goal for Dundee United partly down to Zlamal’s starting position.
Prior to his Celtic clanger in the League Cup semi-final last year, the first real cause for concern over Zlamal, he kept seven clean sheets in his first 14 games in Gorgie.
He is an inconsistent player, which isn’t ideal for a goalkeeper. A midfielder can have an off day, but the team can still cope with that. If the keeper has an off day, you’re as good as beat before the whistle is blown.
With that in mind, he isn’t likely to play before January, unless injury or bad form strikes his peers. Zlamal is no spring chicken either and a winter move, if he can find one, may allow him to play some football in his twilight years.
A January transfer may suit the Czech stopper.