Southampton CEO Martin Semmens has stated in a BBC interview that Fraser Forster didn’t want to come back to Celtic.
Over the course of the summer, a saga ensued as Neil Lennon desperately tried to lure the England international back to Parkhead. However, it came to an end when the Hoops boss stated that things had gone quiet from Forster’s side of things (Sky Sports).
It made little sense at the time after Forster constantly told the media last season that he wanted to return permanently (The Herald). It led to a deal seeming inevitable at the start of the summer.
However, clearing up exactly what happened with the player and Celtic, Saints chief Semmens has been speaking to BBC Radio Solent.
“There’s never been any issue with Fraser from a relationship point of view. He’s trained brilliantly, he’s a fantastic guy, and the manager and him haven’t had any issues. He’s obviously always been our player and one we watch carefully.
“Fraser made an active decision to come back. He didn’t want to stay at Celtic anymore, he wanted to come back and play for us and we’ll give him that opportunity.
“So Fraser has been a full part of the squad since he came back. He’s training and doing really well. We’ll see how that develops.”
Poor show Fraser
It’s good to have this cleared up from Semmens even if it isn’t what we were hoping to hear.
You can’t look at this and think this isn’t poor from the England international. Sure, he has every right to decide where he wants to play his football, and he also had every right to decide he only wanted to stay at Celtic for a year.
However, there are two main gripes with how he’s gone about his business here.
First off, why bother playing up to the fans and talking about how he could never say no to staying at Parkhead? If he wasn’t sure about his future, he could easily have just played it coy and turn the conversation to the here and now.
Secondly, the fact he went dark on Lennon is really poor stuff. Unless he’s managed to let the manager know away from the press and in private, this is shocking from the big goalkeeper in all honesty.
You’re talking about a manager in Lennon who not only made him relevant again but actually shot him into the eyes of Premier League clubs to begin with before his big move to Southampton. The Celtic boss put his trust in him when nobody else appeared willing to do so.
There’s something about this that seems really off, and the comments from Semmens only confirms that.