Fraser Forster has stated that he never wanted to leave Southampton despite previously claiming he would “never say no” to Celtic.
Forster spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Parkhead in a stunning return under Neil Lennon. His tremendous individual performances led to a memorable campaign that saw Celtic sweep up all domestic trophies on offer as well as securing a last-32 spot in the Europa League.
It looked as though he was going to join permanently afterward. Forster had previously outlined how amazing his relationship with Celtic was. When quizzed on whether he would be back, he told Celtic fans he would “never say no” to the club [The Herald].
That was, of course, before he said no. Neil Lennon revealed in the summer that a deal between the Hoops and Southampton had been agreed. However, the player himself left the club in the dark [Sky Sports].
And Forster today seems to have forgotten what he said about Celtic last season. Speaking to the BBC this afternoon, he claimed that he had never said he wanted to leave St Mary’s.
“It was just one of them. I never said I wanted to leave the club. It was good to go to Celtic and play games and show people what I could do.
“I came back in the summer and had always said that I wanted to be a part of the club. I’ve just had to be patient, to wait for my chance to come along and to get into the team.”
Fraser Forster made his decision regarding Southampton and Celtic; but something doesn’t sit right
Many will tell us to get over it. That this was simply a player making the decision he felt was best for his long-term future. However, something just doesn’t right with me regarding this one.
Forster was happy to toot the horn about coming to Parkhead permanently. It would’ve been nice to know at the time that it was never in his plans. It’s clear, at the very best, we were only going to be a fall-back for him.
Granted, he earned plenty of plaudits for his displays here last season, and rightly so. However, he was certainly rewarded with the exposure Celtic gave him. That’s twice now Lennon has given Fraser the chance to give his career a boost. You can say he repaid him with his performances during his time here, but it’s clear we were a touch deceived regarding his commitment to the Hoops.
Forster was entitled to make whatever decision he felt was best for his future. It is, after all, down to him where he sees himself for the long-term. But there was a lack of honesty from him during his time here.
Celtic have gone on to have a disastrous campaign with their shot-stoppers. Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, and Connor Hazard have all been rotated this year. That’s undoubtedly left us feeling even rawer regarding the situation.
Nobody can say Forster made the wrong decision. He’s Southampton’s current number one, and that’s ultimately what he wanted to be. It would’ve been nice, however, if we knew his true intentions from the start.