Matt Le Tissier believes that Fraser Forster’s incredible loan to Celtic could put him back into the fight to be Southampton’s number 1 again.
Forster returns to St Mary today at the end of his loan, although teammate Mohamed Elyounoussi is on the verge of extending his stay in Parkhead for a second season at the Saints.
Neil Lennon has admitted that he wants to get both back as the Hoops prepare for their assault in a row.
Forster remains the priority and talks with Southampton continue, but the interests of the Premier League remain and, should he return, Celtic’s best hope seems to be a loan agreement.
The legend of the saints Le Tissier has seen Forster rebuild his reputation at Celtic and believes that his ex has given Ralph Hasenhuttl something to think seriously about.
Southampton has a number of options among the clubs, including Alex McCarthy, Angus Gunn and young Harry Lewis, but Le Tissier knows that none of them managed to nail the top spot.
McCarthy was left red-faced for the goal he lost to Arsenal last week.
Le Tissier said: “In terms of opening the door, I would say that would be more the case for Fraser.
“As you have seen against Arsenal, our position in goalkeepers has not been particularly exceptional this season.
“So, from the point of view, that’s why Fraser would have had more than one opportunity.
“Fraser fell into disorder in Southampton, but it’s nice to have seen him do so well at Celtic.
“He has regained his confidence and looks like his old self again.
“The couple did Celtic really well, especially Fraser.
“They both fell in love with the fans up there and that’s a sure sign of how well someone did.”
The Sky Sports expert admitted that he and everyone else were amazed at how Forster went from Saint to sinner with the South Coast club.
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Forster confirmed: “His safety was shattered here before he left the team.
“Southampton’s defense at the time had no faith in him and Fraser did not seem to have confidence in himself.
“It was a real shame because before then his first experience here was incredible.
“It was like a brick wall and almost nobody could pass the ball to him.
“Then some goals came in which he was blamed and this seemed to influence his confidence in style.
“His loss of confidence was clear enough to see and difficult to look at because Fraser had done an excellent job for Southampton before then.”
Forster is excited about his future to be resolved and, although he has already been connected with Arsenal and Chelsea, Le Tissier is not convinced that he would play there. Instead, after spending so much time on the sidelines, Forster will want to go somewhere and play.
This is where Celtic will have a lot of influence, as she has shown that it is a place where she can really fight.
“Those clubs are probably looking for a spare goalkeeper compared to a # 1,” said the former England star.
“It all depends on Fraser’s thoughts and how many games he wants to play in one season.
“This will occur to him if Fraser decides to leave Southampton.”
If the deal wasn’t dictated by finances, then Le Tissier agrees that Forster would probably already be a Celtic player.
He admitted: “Fraser, of course, has already had a history at Celtic and has done brilliantly before, and that’s how he moved us.
“If Southampton lets Fraser go, I think Celtic will be fighting.
“If Celtic were to make a reasonable offer, I’m pretty sure Southampton would look favorably on it.
“It all depends on what Fraser is evaluating.”
Le Tissier has no doubts that the loans for Forster and Elyounoussi have been beneficial to all sides as he added: “Going to Celtic would have been an advantage for Southampton.
“He put both of them on the shop window and got them back to play regularly.
“Fraser has also regained his confidence and whatever happens the loan offers for both players will be examined in a win-win situation.”
Le Tissier was not surprised to see the Norwegian international elisiuni return to Glasgow because it was an area where Southampton has authentic strength and depth.
“There is probably more competition in the central and large areas where Mo plays,” insisted Le Tissier.
Southampton is pretty well covered in those areas.
“They have Nathan Redmond, Stuart Armstrong and we also have a lot of good young players.
“We have many options and so it’s not really a surprise that Mo will return to Scotland.
“He will have games and will be good for his career.”