Alan Pardew: No regrets over Fraser Forster exit

ALAN Pardew has revealed that he has no regrets over letting Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster leave St James’ Park, in the wake of transfer talk linking current No. 1 Tim Krul with a move away from Newcastle.
Fraser Forster has earned plaudits for his Champions League performances. Picture: AFPFraser Forster has earned plaudits for his Champions League performances. Picture: AFP
Fraser Forster has earned plaudits for his Champions League performances. Picture: AFP

Dutchman Krul was on top form during the Magpies’ 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday, making 14 saves from 21 shots and being linked with Serie A giants AC Milanin the aftermath.

The Rossoneri have been keeping tabs on the one-time Falkirk ‘keeper, but know that Newcastle would be reluctant to sell Krul for anything less than around £12 million, according to the Northern Echo.

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But Magpies boss Pardew has no plans to let Krul leave Newcastle - and he admits that Krul was the reason he gave the green light to Fraser Forster’s permanent departure during the summer months in 2012.

Hexham-born Forster had initially been on loan at Celtic, before the two clubs struck a deal to bring the towering ‘keeper to Glasgow on a permanent basis, with a string of impressive performances earning him a place in Roy Hodgson’s England plans.

And Forster could find himself ahead of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart in the England pecking order, after the 26-year-old found himself demoted to the bench by City boss Manuel Pellegrini. With friendlies on the horizon against Chile and Germany, Forster could get his chance between the sticks for England but Pardew has insisted he did not make a mistake by letting him leave for £2 million.

Pardew told the Northern Echo: “We didn’t want to lose him, but Fraser was absolutely adamant that he wanted first-team football and we couldn’t provide him with that.

“At the time, we just felt that Tim had the edge. Since then, there’s no doubt that Fraser has progressed at Celtic.

“I thought it was a great move for him because it’s opened the door to a lot of European football. He’s done terrific in a lot of those games.”

Forster was highly regarded on Tyneside as a teenager, even without playing any first-team games during his time at St James’ Park, and Pardew defended letting the goalkeeper leave.

He’s such a big frame in the goal, and that’s probably his biggest asset,” explained the Newcastle boss.

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“He can reach right into the corners of the goal to make fabulous saves when other goalkeepers might struggle to get up there.

“Unfortunately, it was just a case of the timing not really working out.

“I think he’s a very intelligent boy and that will stand him in good stead if he is selected to play for England at some stage.”

Forster has been linked with a string of top sides, including Benfica, Catalan giants Barcelona and, like former Magpies team-mate Krul, AC Milan.

Sunderland were also reportedly targeting the former Norwich goalie to replace Simon Mignolet following the Belgian’s move to Liverpool.

Meanwhile, The Sun are reporting that Scottish Premiership side Hibernian turned down the chance to take Forster on trial as a 16-year-old because they felt he was ‘technically untrained’ and that he would ‘never be a professional footballer.’