Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has dismissed claims of him being recalled by his parent club in January and insists that he is happy at Parkhead.
The 31-year-old rejoined Celtic on a season-long loan deal in the summer having lost his place between the sticks at St. Mary’s.
Since heading back to Scotland he has been in superb form, keeping seven clean sheets for the Hoops in all competitions – four of those coming in his previous four league outings for Neil Lennon’s side.
He is clearly relishing the opportunity of being a first-choice keeper once more and there could now be an opportunity for him to return to the club permanently in the summer due to his impressive recent form.
The Daily Record claims that there was a clause in his deal that would give Southampton the option to bring him back in the New Year but Forster has denied those rumours and insists he will remain at Parkhead until the end of the season.
“I don’t think there’s a recall [option], so I think I’m here for the season from my side of things,” said the 6-cap England international (via Daily Record).
“I’m happy here and glad to be back here playing. I just want to do as well as I can so I think I’ll be here for the season.
“It’s brilliant. When I had the opportunity to come back up I was glad that it was going to be for the season.
“I wanted to be back here and I wanted to be playing.
“I had a very hard 18 months before going back up where I wasn’t playing for Southampton when I’d been so used to playing. I think I played pretty much every game before then apart from when I was out injured.
“I’ve had a good start to the season so I’m absolutely buzzing to be up here and making the most of it.”
Forster still has two-and-a-half years left to run on his current deal at Southampton but it is clear that from his performances at Celtic that the club would welcome him with open arms if he did decide to make his move permanent next year, though his reported £70,000-a-week wages could prove to be an issue.
The ex-Newcastle man says that the decision is not in his hands as he opened up about his future on the south coast.
“I’m only focusing on the short term really,” he added.
“So much of what will happen will be out of my hands.
“I’m just concentrating week by week, enjoying it while I can. The rest will take care of itself.”
Forster is clearly getting his career back on track after a difficult 18 months at Southampton which saw him completely lose his identity as a footballer. He has always had the ability but too frequently he would fail to display it at St. Mary’s, which is ultimately why he fell out of favour in Hampshire.
However, now he has started to regain that form in familiar surroundings with Celtic, he can start to once again prove his worth at the very top level. A return to Saints could hinder his progress considering they have both Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy already, though, making a permanent switch back to Parkhead in 2020 perhaps a shrewd move.
Will Fraser Forster ever play for Southampton again?
Southampton fans, would you take Forster back after witnessing his form in Scotland? Comment below…
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