Is Fraser Forster Set For A Return !
Wednesday, 1st Jul 2020 11:33
The media in Scotland have been seemingly talking about nothing else other than Fraser Forster signing for Celtic next season, now they are still talking about his return, only they are now claiming he is set to return to the Saints squad.
In an ideal World Fraser Forster would be signing for Celtic, Saints need to get his wages off the books and they are keen to avoid a repeat of the 2019/20 season loan to Celtic where effectively they were paying perhaps half of his wages each week in a deal that although reducing the wage bill at St Mary's was a better one for Celtic than Saints.
The last month or so has seen many reports about Forster's future, but what is becoming clear is that Celtic do not have the money to do the deal, they may be a Scottish Superclub, but in European terms they do not have the financial clout despite a massive supporter base.
Each day has brought a different rumour, a permanent move, a swap deal with Olivier Ntcham and another loan deal, but the latest media report suggests that Saints, not having considered any of the options to be satisfactory other than an outright transfer to Celtic which seems to be not viable, are now considering keeping Forster.
It cannot be argued that Saints have goalkeeping issues, Angus Gunn has looked promising at times but suffered from being a youngster inexperienced at Premier League level playing in front of a kamikaze defence who could not organise or mark . He needs to either play in front of a good defence at Saints or get that experience out on loan.
Alex McCarthy does produce the odd decent game or two, but ultimately is a back up keeper who has spent 90% of his career as number 2, Saints goalkeeping coaching staff will not have been happy with the three goals conceded in the last two games, one goal was a glaring error, but they will have noticed flaws in the other two goals conceded, the second against Arsenal saw him fail to either hold what was a straight forward shot or failing that get it out of the danger area and the Watford goal saw him fail to command his box, many would not consider it a glaring error.
But at Premier League level you expect more from your keeper and it was symptomatic of Saints defending, Bednarek had to go for the cross because he had no shout from his keeper who was diving to meet the ball, if he had the call then he could have left it and the keeper have dealt with it, if McCarthy had held his lie then he had a good chance of saving the deflected cross.
But the cracks were appearing before the lockdown, in the penultimate game he failed to gather a simple cross to gift the West Ham a goal and their have been other incidents.
Fraser Forster has regained his confidence at Celtic and undoubtedly in terms of ability and experience is streets ahead of both McCarthy and Gunn.
So reports from Scotland are suggesting that the deal is dead and that Saints are going to reinstate Forster to their goalkeeping roster.
If that was to happen it is unclear where that would leave either McCarthy or Gunn, there are two options, the first is to keep McCarthy and loan out Gunn to get the experience he needs, indeed there is even talk that Gunn could go to Celtic for the year the other is to keep Gunn as back up and let McCarthy go.
So it seems that unless they get Forster away permanently then Saints are ready to put Forster back in the team.
Of course this could be Saints calling the bluff of both Celtic and Forster himself, the big keeper is on big money on Saints and with two years left of his contract and Celtic being said to be able to offer only around a third of his current £85k a week salary, it would be a big hit for him to take .
Celtic are starting to get desperate, the Scottish season is due to start on 1st August and Celtic have already let last seasons back up Craig Gordon go, with just over 4 weeks to go they have no goalkeeper.
So something needs to happen soon up at Parkhead, they have to do a deal with Saints or look elsewhere with Joe Hart already linked.
Photo: Action Images
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