Forster progressed through the academy of the Tyneside club, although he never turned out for the Magpies in his six-year spell.
Loan deals with Stockport, Bristol Rovers and Norwich preceded a two-year loan with SPL side Celtic, and in the summer of 2012 it was announced that the now 26-year-old had signed for the Bhoys on a permanent deal. He made 140 league appearances during his four years in Scotland, as well as turning out regularly in the Champions League - playing a vital part in an historic 2-1 victory over Barcelona.
Having worked his way into the England squad on the back of his impressive performances with the Scottish champions, the stopper made a switch back to England at the beginning of August 2014. He immediately claimed the starting role as his own, and has been a key part of the side who have performed so admirably this season. A victory over Manchester United on Monday evening will see the Saints return to the top four, and Forster will be looking to keep up his record of producing the best defensive record in the Premier League this season.
His rise to prominence coincided with that of Tim Krul at Newcastle, and, with both international goalkeepers, it was a wise move for Forster to leave St James’ Park in the search for consistent first-team football. However, with the Magpies now relying on third-choice Jak Alnwick for the forseeable future, their loss of Forster must hurt, and former Toon ‘keeper Pavel Srnicek believes that the club should have done more to keep hold of the Englishman.
Srnicek told the Chronicle: “In my last spell at Newcastle United, I spent time training with Fraser Forster and Tim Krul. They are probably two of the better goalkeepers in Europe now and Newcastle had both of them.
“They were young goalkeepers back then and still had plenty of learning to do, but you could tell that there was something about both of them. They had ability, of course, but they had a fantastic mentality and willingness to work to improve themselves.
“Plenty of goalkeepers have the ability to become great, but there’s only a few who have the work ethic and attitude that takes them right to the top. I knew from a few sessions with them that they both did – and now I would say they are two of the best five ‘keepers in the Premier League.
“To this day I don’t understand why Newcastle didn’t do a bit more to keep Fraser at the club. I wasn’t party to the decision, but I think Newcastle sold Fraser for less than he was worth and if they had managed to keep hold of him for another year or two, they might have seen more from him.”
While the loss of Forster will hurt the club with the absence of Krul, when the Dutchman is back in the starting XI the Magpies possess one of the best stoppers in the Premier League, and there is little doubt that they made the right choice in choosing Krul over the now South Coast-based Forster.