Southampton 'made their mind up' on £70k-a-week star at St Mary's

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl giving instructions to his side

Southampton will not regret their decision to not hand Fraser Forster a new contract, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

There has been some uncertainty about Forster’s future for a while, but the 34-year-old now looks set to depart St Mary’s this summer.

What’s the latest news involving Forster?

Forster has been at Southampton since 2014, although he did spend a season on loan at Celtic in 2019/20.

His £70,000-a-week contract is due to expire next month, but he has had an impressive second half of the season filling in for the injured Alex McCarthy, leading to some wondering whether he could be offered a new deal.

However, The Telegraph reported at the end of last month that he is set to leave the club when his contract ends, with the South Coast team having agreed a long-term deal with McCarthy instead.

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What has Crook said about Forster’s imminent departure?

Crook believes Forster has done well this season, but has claimed that Southampton formed an opinion of the shot-stopper some time ago, suggesting it is no great surprise that he is being moved on.

When asked by GIVEMESPORT if Southampton may be concerned that they made a mistake handing McCarthy a contract over Forster, Crook replied: “No, I don’t think so, because they made their mind up on Forster a long time ago. They sent him on loan to Celtic. He only got his chance because McCarthy got injured.

“He’s taken his chance, but I always think it’s easy to look good in a team that are giving away a lot of chances, as Southampton have been.”

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Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

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Should Southampton have offered a new contract to McCarthy or Forster?

Looking at the statistics prior to the final game of the season, there is very little to split the pair.

McCarthy and Forster had both earned average match ratings of 6.70 from WhoScored this season, while the former had the slight edge when it came to his passing success rate (56.6% to 54.7%), indicating that he is a little better at playing the ball out from the back.

Meanwhile, according to FbRef, Forster had a slim advantage in the save percentage department (66.3 to 64.6) across all competitions.

It seems that both goalkeepers are at a very similar level, but McCarthy has got the nod for a new contract, perhaps due to being two years younger than his teammate.

Nevertheless, these are hardly eye-catching numbers produced by either man, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Southampton brought in a new No. 1 this summer.

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