Dundee United will be on high alert until the transfer window shuts as they consider whether or not sought-after goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist is indispensable.
Contracted until the summer of 2022, Swiss stopper Siegrist has been in imperious form between the sticks this season – registering six clean sheets and leading the league in saves made with 72.
Siegrist hasn’t put a foot (or glove) wrong, with the keeper not making any errors leading to a goal in his 21 appearances this campaign.
Those kinds of displays have, reportedly, attracted interest from the likes of Premiership champions Celtic, German giants Schalke and top Russian outfit CSKA Moscow as the 28-year-old’s development shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s fair to say the former Aston Villa goalie has won points on his own for United this term, notably against Aberdeen and Hibs – clubs whose success the Tangerines will be looking to emulate in the coming years.
Siegrist frustrates Dons with save after save
The Terrors were up against it when the Dons came to town in October but Siegrist thwarted Derek McInnes’ men time and time again.
He made six saves from the visitors’ seven shots on target, denying and frustrating Aberdeen attackers Ryan Hedges, Scott Wright, Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes.
Besides his heroics between the sticks, the Swiss is a vocal leader for United with his organisation from the back and willingness to take the ball at feet.
Against the Dandies, Siegrist had the second-most touches for United (49), almost double his counterpart Joe Lewis (25), and the joint-most passes alongside Ian Harkes (39).
Under pressure, he was composed, winning a foul for his team as United almost snatched all three points on the day through Logan Chalmers.
However, there is no denying that, without Siegrist, the Terrors wouldn’t even have had a chance of winning the share of the spoils they did.
Swiss No 1 stars as Terrors snatch Easter Road point
When United travelled to Easter Road to take on fourth-placed Hibs over the festive period, Siegrist put in arguably his best performance of the season to help his side to a valuable point on the road.
He made a staggering eight saves to deny Jack Ross’ men last month, conceding only to Kyle Magennis’ freak cross-cum-shot on 13 minutes.
Siegrist kept the Tangerines in it for the rest of the contest, spectacularly keeping out Christian Doidge three times and sparing captain Mark Reynolds’ blushes with a smart stop at his feet.
Luke Bolton popped up with a stoppage time equaliser to earn United a point but, once more, if not for Siegrist the game would’ve been out of sight for the Terrors at that stage.
Big-hitters pose no fear for Siegrist
In defeat, Siegrist has helped United remain competitive in contests against the league’s big hitters and kept the score down at times.
When Celtic came to Tannadice in late August, Siegrist helped keep the back door shut for the Tangerines, making a season-high nine saves.
Albian Ajeti would notch a late winner for the Hoops, who were no doubt taking note of Siegrist’s heroics, but it was a marvellous display from United’s No 1 nonetheless.
Siegrist made five stops in each of the subsequent 4-0 thrashings at the hands of Rangers and Kilmarnock and commanded his box with catches and punches.
At this level, Siegrist is evidently an elite goalkeeper.
The key question for Dundee United: is he a player worth his weight in points or in gold?