Go for it Lennon – Celtic must not waste time in signing this £70,000-a-week star permanently

Why Celtic should go all out to sign Fraser Forster permanently 

According to Daily Record, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has encouraged the Hoops board to do everything in their power to secure the services of Southampton loanee Fraser Forster on a permanent deal. 

The 31-year-old has established himself as the undisputed first-choice between the sticks for Celtic in the absence of the injured Scott Bain since returning to Parkhead on a season-long loan deal from St.Mary’s this past summer.

Forster has already clocked up as many as nine clean sheets in 20 appearances for the Hoops across all competitions so far this season, the latest of which came against Rangers in the final of the Betfred Cup on Sunday. 

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Fraser Forster has been instrumental in Celtic’s success this season since his loan move from Southampton (Getty Images)

The towering shot-stopper has been a figure of reliability for the reigning champions and once again made several key saves as the Hoops grabbed their first piece of silverware in the ongoing campaign. 

Forster, who also saved Alfredo Morelos’ penalty in the second half, was the hero between the sticks for Celtic and his rampant displays in goal have prompted Lennon to step up his pursuit of the shot-stopper on a permanent deal. 

As per the report, Lennon has clearly revealed his desire to keep Forster at the club beyond the end of the 2019-20 season. 

Lennon, though, has admitted that a permanent deal could be difficult to afford for the reigning Scottish champions due to Forster’s current wages of £70,000-a-week at Southampton (h/t Daily Record).

To put things into perspective, Lennon’s plea regarding a permanent deal for Fraser Forster certainly makes a lot of sense, given that the 31-year-old has been quite brilliant since his return to Parkhead. 

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Forster saved Alfredo Morelos’ penalty to guide Celtic to a 1-0 victory over Rangers in the Betfred cup final on Sunday (Getty Images)

That the shot-stopper has only shipped 13 goals in all competitions is a clear reflection of the kind of positive impact he has had on Celtic’s rearguard that went through a major reshuffling this past summer, with Christopher Jullien, Jeremie Frimpong, Greg Taylor, Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Moritz Bauer and Hatem Abd Elhamded all coming through the door.

As a matter of fact, Forster’s commanding presence has saved Celtic from a potential crisis of quality options between the sticks, with Bain suffering a shoulder injury very early in the campaign. 

Craig Gordon, 36, has continued to deputize as the second-choice but the Southampton loanee’s contribution to the Hoops’ raging success can’t be played down.

Besides playing a key role in the decapitation of Lazio, the 31-year-old has also been instrumental in the Hoops’ march to the top of the domestic league standings, shipping only 7 goals so far. 

Turning back the clock, Forster initially spent back-to-back seasons on loan at Celtic from Newcastle United earlier in his career before completing a permanent move to Parkhead in the summer of 2012. 

The Hexham-born goalkeeper’s first stint at the club, which also coincided with Lennon’s first managerial stint at Celtic, was marked by a host of silverware, including three Scottish Premiership titles. 

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Forster previously won three Scottish league titles with Celtic earlier in his career under the stewardship of Neil Lennon (Getty Images)

To that end, Forster is no stranger to the culture and footballing traditions prevailing in Glasgow.

Furthermore, Forster still has plenty to offer at the age of 31 and his recent displays suggest that his reflexes are still sharp as ever.

Scott Bain recently signed a new long-term contract but with Gordon nearing the end of his playing days, the Southampton loanee could well be Celtic’s undisputed No.1 for the foreseeable future. 

Bain, of course, is more than handy option but it is a no-brainer that someone like Forster has the experience, as well as the quality, to be an upgrade. 

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Verdict

This looks like a move that could well take the club to greater heights on all fronts and Celtic should certainly listen to Neil Lennon’s plea and do everything in their power to sort out a permanent deal for Fraser Forster. 

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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