Celtic have done well by tying James Forrest down to a new contract
The start to the 2018/19 season hasn’t been the most pleasant for Celtic fans. Seeing their team drop down from the UEFA Champions League and finding them off the pace early in the Premiership title race would have been a hard pill to swallow. But the fact that James Forrest has signed a new four-year contract (h/t BBC) with the club should come as great news.
The 27-year-old has grown leaps and bounds since graduating from Celtic’s academy and making his first-team debut back in 2010. And having signed the new contract, he said (h/t BBC):
“Coming through the academy, all I wanted to do was make my debut in the first team, and I was able to do that, but I could never think then that I’d go on to play the number of games that I have.
“I’ve been here since I’ve been a wee boy. It’s been my full life and I just want to stay here for as long as I can.”
Since breaking into the senior team eight years ago, Forrest has gone on to amass 307 appearances, scoring and assisting 57 goals apiece. During that time, the Scotsman has won seven Premiership titles, three Scottish League Cups as well as four Scottish Cups.
The winger began demonstrating his innate talents and abilities since the early years of his career but it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that he has flourished boundlessly under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers over the past couple of years.
Since the former Liverpool boss took over at the start of the 2016/17 term, Forrest has taken the field on 119 occasions, netting a total of 27 goals and setting up 30 more for his teammates. In fact, these numbers include two strikes in the ongoing campaign, amounting up to 50% of his career goals and assists tally.
Blessed with admirable skills on the ball, speed, ability to create and the penchant to score aplenty, the 22-time capped Scottish international is an asset for Rodgers’ all-conquering champions. His all-around ability allows the manager to either utilize him as an out-and-out winger in a 4-2-3-1 formation or deploy him as a wing-back on the right-side in a three-man backline.
At 27, Forrest is entering the peak years of his professional career and will have a huge role to play going forward. Since the Bhoys are going through a slightly indifferent phase, following the sale of Moussa Dembele, securing the long-term future of someone as vital as Forrest s an excellent move by the Scottish champions.