Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes Fraser Forster would be an ideal signing for Celtic, and it’s easy to see why.
Writing in his column for The Daily Star, as cited in a report from Football Scotland, the former Hoops forward explained why he feels re-signing Forster from Southampton would be a shrewd move for the Scottish champions.
The 31-year-old left Celtic Park for the Premier League in 2014 for £10 million and Nicholas reckons a return to the club would be a sensible switch. He said:
Neil Lennon needs to make a goalkeeper his number one signing priority. If I were the Celtic manager, I would be doing all I could to get Fraser Forster back to the club.
Celtic need more of a presence between the sticks and Forster, for me, is perfect. Neil took him from Newcastle for £2m in 2012 after two loan spells and turned him into an England goalkeeper before he sold him back to the Premier League in a £10m move to Southampton two years later.
Forster now finds himself third choice at St Mary’s and Southampton are desperate to get him off the books, so surely there is a deal to be done?
If Lenny can speak to him and be convinced that he has not been scarred by his decline in fortunes over the last couple of seasons, I would go for him. The only issue for me would be the finances and whether Celtic would want to do things on a budget.
Read Southampton’s verdict
Forster doesn’t seem to be in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans. He is the third-choice goalkeeper behind Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy, and for some time now, Saints have been attempting to shift him.
It was a grave error from the previous regime to hand him a five-year contract at the end of the 2016/17 season, in which he flattered to deceive, and now we’re paying the price for an ill-advised decision with Forster still earning a pretty penny at St Mary’s Stadium.
However, a return to Celtic appears to make a lot of sense. It seems the Hoops would benefit from an upgrade in between the sticks, and on his day, the former England international has the makings of an exceptional goalkeeper.
He has lost his way in the past few seasons, and definitely needs a change as he enters a decisive period of his playing career. Moving back to Celtic – perhaps in a cut-price deal – would place him in familiar surroundings with a fresh challenge to tackle.
It would also be a weight off the shoulders of those high up at Southampton, who have been attempting to offload Forster for several transfer windows now.