James Forrest eyeing up a major role at Celtic next season

By David Walton

May 15, 2022

Celtic winger James Forrest is eyeing up a major role at Parkhead next year after signing a new 3-year deal with the club last week.

Forrest’s opportunities have been limited this season with the Scotland international bagging only 5 league starts in 2022. Instead, the manager has invested his faith in the likes of Daizen Maeda, Jota, and Liel Abada to take the wide spots.

That’s why it came as a touch surprising to see James sign his new deal. Given he’s been generally fazed out of the first-team this season, the natural step for him looked to be away from Glasgow’s East End.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But he’s committed for a further 3 years, and as he looked ahead to the future, he admitted he still believes he can make a huge impact here.

As quoted by the National, James said: “I’m going to be 31 in July but I still feel good. I train every day and the manager and the new players have kept it fresh. I feel I can still make an impact. That was another big thing for me – I want to play under the pressure that Celtic brings. I have loved every minute of this season because of the style of play he [the manager] likes.

“The manager has been a huge part of me wanting to stay. He wanted me to stay and we had a good chat about it. I’m really excited to play more games under him and keep learning. The season started well and then I was out for a while. But I take the positives from the fact that when I have come back in I have managed to get involved and make a contribution. I still want to contribute and make that impact and I have done that at times this season.

“It’s good for me and the club that we have the next three years. I just want to work towards being here as long as I possibly can. I have never wanted to leave here, I’ve never thought about playing somewhere else.”

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Celtic star James Forrest hoping for more opportunities next year after tough 2022

He may have ended the season a title-winner, but 2022 hasn’t been the smoothest of years for James.

Yet more injury knocks have held him back whilst his positional rivals have been absolutely flourishing. It led to him barely playing a role in the run-in and having to settle for watching on.

This was another reason as to why it looked totally unlikely that Forrest would sign on again. It didn’t seem as if he had made the impact necessary to convince Ange to keep him on for longer. Clearly, the manager has been seeing some exciting levels in training and wants to see how that develops.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

We know how good a fully fit and firing James Forrest can be. In fact, it’s one of the most deadly propositions we have in our squad. It’s just about trying to get him to reach those levels once more.

A big pre-season looks to be on the agenda for James in any case as he attempts to win his starting spot back.

In 12 months’ time we’ll know a lot more about whether he’s rediscovered his top form and whether the contract decision was the right one. In the meantime, it’s exciting to imagine him getting back to his best after a big pre-season under his belt.

In other news, Mohanad Jeahze delivers interesting response to Celtic speculation