ISRAELI ace Nir Bitton insists rejuvenated James Forrest could star for any team in the English Premier League.
And the smooth midfielder believes the winger’s excellent form is a massive boost for Gordon Strachan as he prepares Scotland for their World Cup qualifying double header.
Forrest has been scintillating since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and will now look to take carry that on for his country when he joins up with the international squad this evening.
He looked to be on his way out of Parkhead before the Irishman took over from Ronny Deila in the summer and he penned a new three-year deal to keep him at the Scottish champions.
The 25-year-old is now looking to win his 15th Scotland cap in Saturday’s Group F Hampden qualifier with Lithuania before the tough Trnava trip to face Slovakia.
After helping Celtic maintain their four-point lead at the top of the Premiership with a 1-0 win over Dundee on Saturday, Bitton said: “For me, James can play for any team in the Premier League.
“When I came to Celtic, my first interviews were about James. He is the kind of person people pay money to watch because he’s fast and he’s exciting to see.
“He’s in form now and needs to continue like that. If he continues like this he will have a bright future, in club football and for Scotland.”
Some readers on CQN will recall Lisbon Lion Wille Wallace speaking very highly of James Forrest a few years ago on the blog and saying that he would on his opinion be a £10m player in the years to come.
Last season looked like being the last for the winger, with a series of injuries and a run of poor form when called into Ronny Deila’s side, all adding up to set the scene for the player drifting away from Parkhead and maybe to some mid table Championship side in England.
The arrival of Brendan Rodgers changes all that. Immediately he told Forrest that he was wanted and that he was rated very highly by the new manager., who also gave the player the contract he wanted to remain at Celtic.
Forrest has worked on certain aspects of his game – working harder, tracking back and so on – and this was all evident last midweek when he was outstanding as Celtic went toe to toe with the £420m side that Manchester City’s oil money has assembled.