Report: Liverpool staff were ‘taken aback’ by Spurs player’s improvement

Jurgen Klopp
Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Athletic have revealed that Liverpool’s coaching staff were left stunned by Fraser Forster’s improvement with the ball at his feet during their clash at St Mary’s last year.

The report discusses Southampton’s various trials and tribulations on the goalkeeping front over recent seasons and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s desire to have a number one who can play out from the back.

It is explained that Forster was open-minded about learning to do so and ‘got to grips with the modern aspects of the game’ during his final few years at St Mary’s.

The report states that during the Saints’ 1-0 win over Liverpool last year, some of Jurgen Klopp’s backroom staff were ‘taken aback’ by Forster’s improvements, particularly his ability to sweep and play out under pressure.

It is revealed that some at Southampton suggested that the 34-year-old adapting his game was part of the reason why a club like Tottenham signed him this summer.

Forster’s improvement with the ball at his feet has also been attributed to the goalkeeper receiving an England recall earlier this year for the first time since 2017.

Spurs Web Opinion

One cannot overestimate how important it has now become for goalkeepers to be relatively competent with the ball at their feet, and that is one area of Forester’s game that Spurs would have studied before signing him in the summer.

If Nick Pope was better with the ball at his feet, I believe he would have been of interest to almost every club in Europe this summer, given that he is an unbelievable shot-stopper, and commands his area brilliantly.

However, the fact that none of the big sides wanted him, and that he is still behind the likes of Pickford (and arguably Ramsdale) in the pecking order for England, shows just how important it is for modern-day coaches to have goalkeepers who are comfortable on the ball.

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