James Forrest had been a revelation under Brendan Rodgers in the past few years, and this season he has again stepped up with the goods when it mattered the most. Former Celtic and Wales striker John Hartson believes that Forrest has been the best player at Park Head in the last 18 month or so. In our opinion, Forrest is arguably the best player they have currently but maybe a certain Kieran Tierney would like to have some say in that argument.
Hartson was quoted as saying to the Evening Times, ”If I was in that Celtic team now I guarantee you that I would love to play alongside Forrest. Within a matter of games, I think he would know exactly where to float it in for me at the back post and I honestly think he’d set me up a fair few.
He’s a really good kid, a hard-working boy and it is frightening to think that he was on his way out of the door just as Brendan Rodgers arrived at Celtic. He has given him confidence and belief, he has added a real goal threat to his game and what you are seeing now is a player who is at the peak of his career.”
Forrest’s performance in the must-win match against RB Leipzig was there for everyone to see and his direct style of play and his work rate to drive the ball forward troubled the Bundesliga outfit. As Hartson rightly pointed out, Rodgers deserves a whole lot of credit for his development in the past two years and it would have been a real tragedy had he left the club without fulfilling his potential.
After the sale of Dembele, Rodgers needed someone from the attacking third to step up big time to replace his goals and creative contribution and Forrest has already racked up nine goals and 12 assists in all competitions so far and looks good for plenty more. The 27-year-old’s pace and quality on the ball make him a real threat in the final third and the fact that he is getting on the scoresheet often should satisfy the manager the most.
However, given that the Scotsman is in the prime of his career and looks incredibly fit, the danger of someone vying for him in the future doesn’t seem far off and quite a few Premier League club would love to have a player of Forrest’s quality.
So it remains to be seen whether the Bhoys will be able to keep hold of him in the long run. However, Celtic fans can be satisfied with the fact that even if the Scottish international leaves in the near future, Celtic can demand good money for him as his contract will not end until 2022.