BBC pundit Alan Hutton has claimed that he sees no reason why Fraser Forster couldn’t achieve his ambition of making a successful return to the England international squad in an interview with Football Insider.
Forster revealed his goal last week amid increased speculation that the Hoops were trying to negotiate a permanent deal for the big stopper.
So what has Hutton said?
When asked if he feels Forster is being realisitic, Hutton said:
“I don’t see why not. He’s playing European football, contesting for cups”.
“A lot of people look at the SPL and think that it’s not a high level but you still need to play to your best to win games, it doesn’t matter where you are. If he’s playing to the top of his ability, which he’s been brilliant of late, I don’t see why not”.
“There’s great competition in the England squad for goalkeepers, there’s so many to choose from, but it’s like anyone – you want to play for your country and he’ll be no different. He’ll be targeting a spot but it will be difficult”.
So is Hutton correct?
Absolutely, Forster received his first call up to the senior England squad in his first spell at Celtic so that in itself is not a reason to discount his ambition.
He also appears to have returned to the form that got him a move to Southampton in the first place and nearly dislodge Joe Hart as England number one.
If anything, for a goalkeeper, playing for Celtic could benefit his chances of getting back into the national team. Spending long periods of inactivity in a game and having to remain focussed are similar traits to that of the England keeper when they will dominate most teams for the majority of the match.
The biggest sticking point is that Gareth Southgate continues to pick Jordan Pickford when he clearly isn’t the best keeper at his disposal, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet, but if you were to choose between him and Forster in a 1 v 1 or to save a free-kick, Forster would be the man to go for.
Forster doesn’t have the same level of ability “on the deck” as some of his rivals, however, it certainly isn’t poor enough that he should be discounted from the squad.
Should Forster be recalled to the England squad?
Hutton is right, if Forster continues to display the same level of consistency and form for the rest of the season, there is no reason why he shouldn’t at least be re-considered for international recognition.