Celtic shouldn't go begging Fraser Forster to return; he had his chance and turned Hoops down

By David Walton

November 12, 2020

With Celtic’s goalkeeping troubles throughout the first half of the season, you couldn’t blame anyone for hoping a move for Fraser Forster could still be on the cards.

The discussion over Forster has ramped up again after Football Insider reported that Southampton’s need to replace him combined with the finances of his contract makes a move “unlikely”.

Celtic fans have watched on as both Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain have continued to make too many routine mistakes this season. So much so that supporters don’t really know who the club’s current number one actually is.

But even though Forster would certainly be a big upgrade on both, it’s important the Hoops don’t come across desperate here after a summer saga that didn’t reflect well on the Englishman.

It looked almost certain that the England international was going to be coming back to Parkhead after a season-long loan spell in Scotland. Celtic helped Forster fall back in love with the game after months on the sidelines, whilst the shot-stopper himself admitted that he could never say no to returning permanently (The Herald).

Fast forward to the close-season and Neil Lennon was desperately looking for an answer from Forster. The manager told Sky Sports that things had gone quiet from the player’s side, with the Hoops boss not even getting a definite answer from him.

Forster said no and Celtic moved on

It took over a month for the saga to be truly cleared up. Southampton CEO Martin Semmens told the BBC that Forster had decided to say no to a Parkhead return as he chose to fight for his place at Southampton.

Sure, it’s fair enough that Forster had made that decision in the end, but the classy move would’ve been to give Lennon an answer when he needed a response. The fact things went dark wasn’t a good look and still isn’t.

Forster had his chance to be part of things up here and turned down the opportunity so that he could get another chance with the club who discarded him in the first place.

Fraser Forster is back at Southampton (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

The shot-stopper has yet to experience a single minute of action as he’s been thrown down the pecking order at Saints once again. But Celtic should resist the urge to look desperate.

Yes, Forster would improve us, but Celtic have already made an expensive investment in Barkas. All of our focus should be going into developing him and ensuring that he settles in Scotland. There’s still plenty of time for him to come good, and tossing him aside whenever Forster feels like coming back up for a few months just isn’t on.

It’s time to let this one go. Fraser was given his chance to be a part of something special here and he turned it down. It’s time to move on and put our trust in those who are committed to the club’s long-term vision.

In other news, a European superstar copied Elyounoussi’s controversial move, but nobody seems to care.