TBR View: Failing to sign Fraser Forster looks costly for Celtic
Celtic currently trail fierce rivals Rangers by 13 points at the top of the Scottish Premiership and a glaringly obvious transfer mistake is staring them firmly in the face.
The Hoops had Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster on loan during the 2019/20 campaign and the decision not to make the move permanent looks foolish.
Celtic were beaten just twice in the league when the uncompromising former England goalkeeper was between the posts.
Given his status as a fan favourite at Celtic Park, it seemed almost nailed on that he’d make a permanent move.
Instead, Neil Lennon opted to sign Vasilas Barkas for £4.5 million from AEK Athens and the move hasn’t worked out.
Although Forster earns £70,000-a-week at Southampton, the Hoops would have been better off trying to land the solid stopper – even if it was on loan again.
In total the 32-year-old has played 236 games for Celtic, keeping 118 clean sheets for the club.
He has helped the club to four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and a Scottish League Cup.
Barkas, 26, has struggled to adapt to life in Scotland.
He has kept goal in 17 matches so far this season, helping Lennon’s team to eight clean sheets.
Recently he has looked woefully out of form, however, and was even on the bench for a couple of games with Scott Bain deputising.
Barkas did experience some back trouble which ruled him out recently too and it’ll be interesting to see if he can kick on at any point.
Right now, however, the decision not to sign Forster looks like a big mistake.
Forster kept 14 clean sheets last season and looked to get back towards the sort of form that earned him an England call-up years ago.
The 32-year-old has been Alex McCarthy’s understudy this season and for Celtic, the chance to sign him permanently might have gone.
If there is a glimmer of hope of reviving a deal to sign Forster, it’s one the Hoops should snatch with both hands.
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