After breaking the Scottish league record for most minutes without conceding and producing some exceptional displays during Celtic’s European nights, England international Fraser Forster has emerged as the hottest transfer property in the Scottish Premiership.
Unsurprisingly, with more Bhoys boys moving to the Premier League than ever before – even Neil Lennon quit Parkhead to pursue jobs in England at the end of last season – the Celtic goalkeeper has once again been linked with a move away.
Mirror Football believe the 26 year-old could be on his way to Southampton, but surprise switches to Tottenham, Benfica and even Barcelona have also been mooted by the tabloids.
With that in mind, and new signing Craig Gordon still an unknown quantity after spending two years without a club, we at Football FanCast have created a list of FIVE replacements for Fraser Forster that new Celtic boss Ronny Deila should consider.
The first question to ask is whether recent signing Craig Gordon can fill Fraser Forster’s almighty void at Celtic Park.
The 31 year-old was once the most expensive goalkeeper in British history, after Sunderland splashed out £9million on him back in 2007. His highlights reel, as seen below, is incredibly impressive:
But the Scotland international struggled at the Stadium of Light, amassing just 88 Premier League appearances in five years, before being released in 2012 and spending the next two years without a club due to recurring knee injuries.
The former Hearts goalie appears determined to get his career back on track:
New Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon insists he won’t rest until he claims No.1 shirt for club and country http://t.co/rDZqpCAPTn
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) July 4, 2014
But whether he has the fitness to do so remains to be seen. With that in mind, Ronny Deila might want to consider the options on the transfer market first.
One potential Fraser Forster replacement for Celtic to consider is former Bhoy David Marshall.
The Cardiff City No.1, who rose through the Parkhead youth ranks and amassed 50 first team appearances before joining Norwich City in 2007, made more saves than any Premier League goalie last season, as detailed below…
Had the Scotland international not enjoyed such a rich vein of form, the Bluebirds relegation campaign could have been a lot more embarrassing. Here he is keeping Tottenham at bay in one of his many Man of the Match displays last term…
And with the Welsh outfit plummeting back into the Championship, the 29 year-old is expected to move onto bigger and better things this summer.
Champions League football will certainly be a challenge that excites him, but recent speculation has linked Marshall with moves to either Arsenal or Southampton:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) June 10, 2014
Southampton are lining up an £8m bid for Cardiff’s David Marshall http://t.co/ArUoGDTJIg
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 7, 2014
Jack Butland is widely considered to be one of the top goalkeeping talents in English football, having been called up to the Three Lions’ senior squad for Euro 2012.
But unless Stoke City sell Asmir Begovic this summer, which seems unlikely as the Potters prepare a new contract for their No.1, the 21 year-old will most likely be sent out on loan yet again next season.
Should Fraser Forster depart, the England international would be an impressive stop-gap solution. Here’s a collection of his career highlights thus far, throughout spells with Birmingham, Barnsley and Leeds:
Champions League football should be an exciting prospect for Butland, who is billed as a future England star. But recent speculation suggests he plans to return to Elland Road for next season:
— L i a m (@mrliamstorey) June 6, 2014
Veteran goalkeeper Julio Cesar finds himself in a rather bizarre transfer situation.
The 34 year-old just represented Brazil at the World Cup, and in his last Premier League campaign impressed for QPR. But Harry Redknapp has favoured Robert Green in the Championship, and after issuing him a new two year-contract, will remain the West London outfit’s No.1 next season.
Thus, it appears Cesar is up for grabs this summer. There’s no doubting the Selecao shot-stopper’s quality, having previously claimed five Serie A titles at Inter Milan and the 2010 UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year award. Here’s a look at his best five saves for the San Siro outfit:
He was in good form last term too on loan to MLS side Toronto, earning the Save of the Week award in March after stopping David Texeira’s header:
Could a final Champions League swansong be on the cards for Cesar, via Parkhead? Recent speculation suggests he could be about to join Benfica:
— PortugueseSoccerCom (@PsoccerCOM) July 15, 2014
— Andy Walker (@_andywalker_) July 10, 2014
Over the last few years, if there’s one goalkeeper whose shone in the Scottish top flight with the exception of Fraser Forster, it’s undoubtedly former Motherwell star Darren Randolph.
In his last two SPL campaigns, before leaving The Steelmen for Birmingham City last summer, the 27 year-old claimed consecutive slots in the PFA Team of the Year. Understandably so considering his form – just take a look at this impressive display against Dundee United from 2013:
The Ireland international moved to the Championship last summer, since featuring in every league match for Birmingham and producing decent form. Check out this double-save against Bournemouth:
But St. Andrew’s is in a real mess behind the scenes, and a Parkhead switch would be the perfect escape route for Randolph.
Here’s the former Charlton youngster getting hit in the balls. Just because, you know, why not?