Celtic winger James Forrest is eager to sign a new deal with the club after manager Neil Lennon publicly urged the Hoops to extend his current contract.
The Scotsman reported that the 28-year-old is very keen on extending his stay at Celtic Park, having signed a contract up to 2022 as recently as last September.
According to The Scotsman, Lennon wants the wide midfielder to be given improved terms at Celtic to help retain his status as a one-club player.
The Scotsman quoted Forrest as saying: “The fan base and everything about the club is incredible. I’ve really seen that over the last few years and I’d love to stay a part of that for as long as I can.”
Forrest’s status as an integral part of Celtic’s line-up was illustrated in him being named as PFA Scotland, Scottish Football Writers’ and SPFL Player of the Year last season.
He also chipped in with 20 assists in that campaign, the most of any Celtic player, and set up two goals in Saturday’s 7-0 win over St Johnstone.
Having netted 17 times in the 2017/18 season, Forrest has evolved into a highly effective presence for Celtic. Almost half of his 73 goals for the club have come in the last two years, having made his debut in 2010.
His performances last term won not just individual awards and a third consecutive domestic treble, but also praise from former Celtic players and managers.
Chris Sutton hailed him as a “terrific player“, while Lennon’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers described him as “a joy to work with“, adding: “His job is very simple. When he has the ball he has to create and score goals and he’s done that consistently.” [via The Scottish Sun].
Forrest’s status as Celtic’s foremost right-sided attacking midfield player is undisputed. Jonny Hayes did not score last season and registered just three assists, while Marian Shved has featured in just one of Celtic’s five competitive matches so far this season.
Although Forrest hasn’t found the net so far in this campaign, his form over the last two seasons suggests that the goals will flow consistently before long.
Lennon has made it clear how much he wants Forrest at the club, which is no surprise given the impact that he has made in the last couple of years, and the player has expressed a keen desire to remain at Celtic.
Even though Forrest is tied to the Hoops for another three years, giving him an improved deal would be a just reward for how vital his contributions have been for Celtic.
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