James Forrest has admitted that it would be “unbelievable” if he could be a Celt for life.
Forrest came through the Celtic youth academy, and has become an icon at Parkhead. He’s now been part of the first-teamhere for nearly nine years, being a part of the full run to eight-in-a-row.
Despite coming up against contenders such as Patrick Roberts and Oliver Burke for his right-wing spot, Forrest has seen them all off. Throughout his near-decade long stint in the first-team, Forrest has bagged just under 350 appearances for the Hoops, scoring 72 goals.
This season has been his most explosive. Forrest has 22 for the campaign for both club and country. And speaking in the Herald, the winger said that he wants to be a one-club man.
“I’ve always felt that to stay with Celtic for my entire career would be unbelievable. We’re still a long way away from that but I’m really enjoying it and, over the last few years, I’ve discovered that this club is bigger than even I had realised before.
“I’m delighted to be here and I’ll keep working hard to ensure that I can stay here.
“I’ve spoken to more players than you might think who have left here and then wished that they hadn’t. Many would tell you themselves that they didn’t realise what a big club this is until after they’d gone.”
This is news that will delight Celtic fans. Forrest has become a total big-game player at Celtic Park. Key goals in cup clashes and European ties have really helped grow his Parkhead legacy.
But even better news for Celtic is the fact that he’s already on a fresh long-term contract. Just last summer, Forrest committed to Celtic until 2022. He’s fully earned it too, as he continues to be the club’s outstanding first-choice down the right.
Sunday at Ibrox was a key example of not knowing how much you miss Forrest until he’s gone. Celtic had absolutely nothing down the right, and could’ve used Forrest’s technical ability to get up the pitch.
Despite the fact he has his off days, he still has incredible quality unmatched by any other winger at the club. It consistently shows in big games, such as the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen for example.
He does, of course, finally have some competition in that area too. With Maryan Shved arriving, Forrest will need to continue to perform a high level. But it wouldn’t surprise you if it simply spurred Forrest on to greater heights.
It seems not to matter what the Premier League big guns have to say, Forrest doesn’t want to go anywhere. Heading into the summer, that’s a monumental boost for the champions.