Forster tipped for top by rival

Jonathan RedheadNorwich City goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been hailed as one of the country's best young prospects - by the man who might lose his shirt to him next season.Jonathan Redhead

Norwich City goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been hailed as one of the country's best young prospects - by the man who might lose his shirt to him next season.

The on-loan Canaries stopper has been one of the reasons City sit nine points clear at the top of the League One table after a string of excellent performances, which have reportedly attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.

But Steve Harper, No 1 at Forster's newly promoted parent club Newcastle United, believes the 22-year-old will still be a Magpies player next season after his 'phenomenal progress'.

As much as City boss Paul Lambert might like Forster to stay at Carrow Road for an assault on the Coca-Cola Championship, it's likely the 6ft 6in stopper will return to the north-east to challenge Harper for the keeper's jersey in the Premier League in the next campaign.


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Alternatively, Toon boss Chris Hughton could decide to send him out on loan for another season and Lambert would probably be first in the queue for his services.

Either way, Harper believes Forster should be pressing for a place in the England U21 squad.

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"I know Fraser is out at Norwich, but there is no chance of Newcastle selling him. He is too good," Harper said.

"I cannot understand how he is not in the Under-21 squad. I know their set-up, and Fraser is as good as there is around.

"He is a local lad from Stocksfield, a big lad at 6ft 6in who stayed on at school and so came late into full-time football, but the progress he has made in the last three years is phenomenal.

"I know Paul Barron, our goalkeeper coach, rates him highly, and so does Norwich boss Paul Lambert.

"Fraser still trains with me every Monday and Tuesday when Norwich don't have a midweek game, so we keep an eye on him and keep in touch."

Forster missed Monday's 2-1 win over Stockport County and will also be absent for the clash with MK Dons at Carrow Road on Saturday after his dismissal against Tranmere Rovers on Good Friday - his second red card of the season.

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