Celtic Should Be Spending Lockdown Trying To Tie Down Fraser Forster

After today’s news from UEFA, it’s looking increasingly likely that Celtic will be crowned the Scottish champions for the 2019-20 season (Source BBC Sport).

Even if that were to happen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that next season is any closer. The SPFL will still have to wait and see when lockdown is lifted and when politics and science dictates that the beautiful game can return in some capacity.

But that doesn’t mean that Celtic can just sit back and celebrate what could be their ninth league title in a row. They will need to make sure that they’ve got the best squad possible to go for a historic tenth straight Premiership crown.

With that in mind, it should be a priority for Hoops boss Neil Lennon to re-sign goalkeeper Fraser Forster on a permanent deal.

Fraser became an England internationalist during his first stint as a Celtic number one. He then made a big impression at Southampton in the Premier League following his £10m move in the summer of 2014 (Source The Telegraph).

But injuries and a loss of form meant that Fraser lost his starting berth at St Mary’s in recent seasons. At the start of this term he was views as The Saints fourth choice goalie.

Lennon decided to make a move and he brought the Englishman back to Parkhead.

I’m not going to lie, I thought it was an odd move. I believed the Celtic gaffer already had two good keepers in Craig Gordon and Scott Bain. They’re both Scottish internationalists and offered different qualities.

Plus I was unsure if Fraser Forster was now a broken goalkeeper after his lack of activity and his fall from grace on the English south coast.

Yet ‘The Great Wall’ returned and was sensational for The Hoops before the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown Scottish football.

He made very important saves as Celtic looked great during the group stages of the Europa League. The Scottish champs topped a group that included Lazio, Rennes and Cluj.

Fraser also had a sensational outing against Glasgow rivals Rangers in the League Cup final. The Gers created countless chances but just couldn’t find a way past the hint shot stopper. That included Fraser saving Alfredo Morelos’ penalty.

After the Celtic cup final win, Gers boss Steven Gerrard could only come out and praise the opposition keeper:

“He was certainly outstanding. I think he had one of the best games of his career today, unfortunately for us, but you have to give credit where it’s due.”

Via Hitc.com

Fraser Forster and his Rangers rival Allan McGregor both led the table for most cleansheets thus far this season, both had managed to keep fourteen cleansheets. It should be noted that the Celtic loanee managed to better McGregor in the number of saves he made. Forster made fifty-one compared to Allan’s forty-three.

Neil Lennon clearly trusts the goalie and Fraser will have loved playing football again and reignited his love affair with the Parkhead side.

His giant stature makes for a daunting presence for oncoming opposing strikers. He has shown us that his reflexes and shot-stopping hasn’t been dulled after a sustained lack of game time before his loan spell. The keeper is also terrific when it comes to penalty saves and he instills confidence into those that play in front of him.

At thirty-two years of age, it could also be argued that the 6ft7 goalkeeper is still in his peak years!

I have no doubts that Celtic will already be thinking ahead to next season. With that in mind I can only think that they will already have a deal in place to bring Fraser Forster back to Celtic Park on a permanent basis. He could be a big difference maker for the club as they think about getting to ten in a row!

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