Contrary to recent reports, it looks as though the Saints boss isn’t planning to bring the England goalkeeper back from the cold.
Ralph Hasenhuttl appears to have all but killed off Fraser Forster’s chances of reclaiming a first-team spot at Southampton, judging by the Saints manager’s latest comments on the goalkeeper.
Despite being relatively young for a goalkeeper, the 30-year-old boasts 370 professional games under his belt, according to Transfermarkt, and has played for several other leading clubs, such as Celtic and Newcastle United.
However, Forster has not been in the first-team picture at St Mary’s for over 12 months now, his last senior appearance coming on Boxing Day 2017, when Southampton were beaten 5-1 by Tottenham Hotspur.
A recent report in The Mirror suggested that Hasenhuttl was set to give the six-time capped England international – contracted to Southampton until 2022 – a fresh start and bring him back from the cold in a bid to let him prove himself.
However, when asked about Forster’s future at Thursday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Leicester City, the Austrian’s reply appeared to suggest the exact opposite.
“It can be that Fraser can take a game in the Under-23s, because he needs to get back in a position where he is an option for other clubs maybe, and that is what we try to force in the future,” Hasenhuttl is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.
Since Forster – rated at 10million Euro (around £9million) by Transfermarkt – fell out of first-team contention at Southampton, Alex McCarthy has held the number one spot for the most part, while Hasenhuttl has also utilised Angus Gunn over the past few games.