Forster, who has rejoined the Parkhead side on loan from Southampton, sees Forrest as a player capable of producing “world-class displays” and making the sort of crucial interventions he did in the first leg of the Europa League play-off against AIK last Thursday. His goal helped Celtic to a 2-0 victory they will look to capitalise on tomorrow when they contest the second leg in Sweden.
“It’s mad, I’ve been away for five years and at that time he was a young player – not that he’s old now,” said Forster, who is ineligible for the tie. “He’s gone on to be absolutely fantastic over the past few years. He’s just kicked on to a different level.
“Hopefully he’ll be the man who gets us through this year as well. He’s been fantastic. The first time he was younger but was putting great performances in then. He’s just taken it up to a different level but is also consistently producing world class performances. It’s fantastic to see as he’s a lovely lad. It’s just great to see him doing well.”
Forrest and 34-year-old Scott Brown are the only two players who remain from Forster’s first Celtic spell, a period during which they reached the Champions League last 16, courtesy of a fabled group stage victory over Barcelona.
“It’s been good to see Broony,” said the keeper. “The captain is fantastic. He’s looking after himself so well and is just so consistent. He is fundamental to the team and it’s absolutely crucial. He was when I was here before and still is now with what he brings to the changing room and what he brings to the pitch.
“Sometimes he doesn’t get the credit he deserves and people don’t realise how good he is until he’s not there on the pitch. He’s just another one who seems to get better with age and he’s a top player. As a captain, he’d be amongst the best I’ve ever had.”