Why Celtic signing Fraser Forster in January is a good move

According to The Athletic (h/t Hampshire Live), Celtic could be set to sign English goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Southampton in the January transfer window.

Celtic had tried to sign the 32-year-old in the summer window but a move had failed to materialise as he held out for a potential transfer to either Arsenal or Chelsea. However, with no game time and little interest from clubs in the Premier League, the Hoops could capture his signature. (h/t Hampshire Live)

Profile

Forster started his youth career at Stocksfield FC and spent four years at Wallsend Boys Club between 2001 and 2005, before moving to the Newcastle United academy. Having risen through the ranks at the Tyneside club, Forster had loan stints away at Stockport County, Bristol Rovers and Norwich City, before he signed for Celtic in 2010.

Fraser Forster spent the last season on loan at Celtic (Getty Images)
Forster spent the last season on loan at Celtic (Getty Images)

Having moved there on loan initially, the Englishman joined on a permanent basis next year and stayed until 2014, before joining Southampton in 2014. A first-team regular at St. Mary’s for the majority of his time at the club, Forster grew into a reliable shot-stopper in the Premier League.

However, having lost his place in the side, the Englishman returned to Celtic on loan for the 2019/20 campaign. Back at Southampton, he is yet to feature in a single game for the Saints. In total, he has 125 appearances for the south coast outfit, he has managed 45 clean sheets.

Forster made his debut for the England national team in 2013 and has featured six times so far.

Forster returning to Celtic will be win-win for everyone

Celtic have made a poor start to the league season compared to the usual standards they set for themselves.

Vasilis Barkas has been in fine form for Celtic in the last two games (Getty Images)
Vasilis Barkas has found life difficult at Celtic (Getty Images)

In addition, they have also been knocked out of the UEFA Europa League, leading to immense pressure on manager Neil Lennon. One of the major reasons behind Celtic’s underperformance this season is a lack of solidity at the back.

The Bhoys have conceded 14 goals so far in 15 league games. To put things into perspective, they had shipped in just 19 in 30 games last term and 20 in 38 matches the season before that. Furthermore, they let in 19 goals in their six Europa League matches, more than any other team in the competition.

Goalkeeping has been a concern for Celtic this term. Having failed to sign Forster, the Bhoys brought in Vasilis Barkas but the Greek international has had a difficult time at the club, letting in 18 goals in 17 games. Scott Bain also hasn’t fared much better, shipping in 17 goals in just 7 matches.

Forster hasn't played a single game this season (Getty Images)
Forster hasn’t played a single game this season (Getty Images)

Thus, bringing in a proven and an experienced goalkeeper like Forster, who has been there and done it in the past, would be a step in the right direction for Celtic.

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Verdict

Celtic’s investment in Barkas in the summer has failed to yield the desired rewards. So bringing in a proven quantity like Forster, who has tasted plenty of success during his time at Parkhead, makes total sense.

At the same time, the 32-year-old himself would be able to get back on the field, after warming the benches all season at Southampton.

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