Fraser Forster has played down reports that he could leave Celtic in January, by insisting that he doesn’t think there’s a recall option on his loan deal.
The Englishman is in the midst of a season-long loan deal from Premier League strugglers Southampton. The keeper has been immense since returning to Glasgow, with his performances in the Europa League showing his pedigree as the finest keeper in Scotland.
However, there were some fears that the 31-year-old could be prized away by the Saints – who currently sit 19th in the English top-flight.
STV reporter Raman Bhardwaj claimed in August that the south-coast side held a recall option in the loan deal. However, that has now been refuted by Forster who insists he’s not aware of any such clause.
“I don’t think there’s a recall [option], so I think I’m here for the season from my side of things,” he told press on Wednesday. (Sky Sports)
“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.”
Forster is part of a real new look Celtic defence
Forster’s words will have calmed a lot of worried Celtic fans down. Not only does he want to be here until May, he also reckons that will be the case.
The news will be a boost to Neil Lennon who is still trying to mould together his ideal defensive line-up. The back five of Forster, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer and Boli Bolingoli is widely seen as Lennon’s first-choice, but he’s only been able to start with that line-up on four occasions thus far.
Three of those were in Europa League matches, with Celtic only conceding to a Rennes penalty and a Lazio counter-attack.
Keeping Forster will mean that Lennon can continue to mould together that settled backline. Four of the five players weren’t at the club this time last year, with Kristoffer Ajer the only Brendan Rodgers player to continue.
Given their limited game time, they’ll still be getting used to playing with each other. Forster’s update means that they will be guaranteed time to do so over the coming months. Once Elhamed is back fit at least.