Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has urged the club to ensure that Fraser Forster is on board again next season to help drive their bid for a historic 10th successive Premiership triumph.
The goalkeeper has been on loan at the Hoops from Southampton this term and was Neil Lennon’s first choice between the sticks for the vast majority of the campaign as they secured a record-equalling ninth consecutive league crown, which was recently awarded to them after the SPFL decided to end the season prematurely.
In his column for the Daily Record, Sutton wrote:
“While it would be good for the team to sign quality players, there is one person who wouldn’t be a new face, but a familiar one that’s a matter of priority. And it belongs to Fraser Forster.
“For all the potential wheeling and dealing which could take place over the next couple of months if the transfer window gets up and running, the big keeper is an absolute must. If it takes all of the available transfer budget to get him, then so be it.
“We don’t know how the window is going to work and what the effects of Covid-19 are going to have on the finances at Parkhead or anywhere else in Scotland. But if Celtic are to get one deal done, it has to be the permanent capture of Forster.”
“Actually, that’s not strictly true. Another one-season loan deal would suffice. Just as long as he’s between the sticks when season 2020/21 gets going, that’s all that matters.”
Do you think Celtic will win 10 in a row if Forster isn't at the club next season?
Looking at Forster’s immense performances this season for the Hoops, it’s no wonder that Sutton feels he could be instrumental to their hopes of making history in 2021. The 32-year-old has posted some tremendous statistics and produced some defining moments in key games throughout the season.
He has featured in 39 matches for Celtic since his return to Glasgow last August and conceded just 28 goals (0.72 per game), keeping 17 clean sheets in the process (43.6% of games). Of the seven penalties he has faced this season, he has saved four.
One of those ensured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie away to Copenhagen and other came in the 1-0 Betfred Cup final victory over Glasgow Rangers, a game in which Forster produced an immense man of the match performance for the 10-man Hoops.
He also conjured a stunning and crucial last-gasp save in the 2-1 home win over Lazio in October, somehow getting to a powerful Danilo Cataldi volley to produce what Gazzetta dello Sport called “the miracle of expired time”.
Five of Celtic’s nine successive league titles have been won without Forster but, considering his heroics this season, it’s hard to disagree with Sutton’s sentiment that getting him on board for next term, either with another loan deal or a permanent capture, could go a long way to securing the historic 10 in a row.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Sutton’s verdict on Forster? Have your say by commenting below!
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