Southampton have completed the signing of Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster for a fee in the region of £10 and a shrewd bit of business it’s expected to be too.
Yet, despite his heroic efforts for the Bhoys in the Champions League, there remain a hardcore of pessimists unconvinced that he can cut it against a higher standard of opponent than he has faced in Scotland.
One thing’s for certain he won’t be aided in his Premier League acclimatisation by joining a side who have lost five first-team players, including three defenders, already during this summer.
After much debate and several hours locked up in the plush conference facility of a five-star London hotel the bwin brains trust have established the new man’s league clean-sheet line at 9.5.
With Forster granted as close as damn it to an uninterrupted season, it’s a mark that news.bwin.com/en/ expect them to comfortably surmount.
Unconvinced? Have a chew on these numerals.
The Cumbrian gloveman has kept 127 clean sheets in 250 competitive career outings.
His league tenure at Parkhead was of the armchair variety thanks to Celtic’s Scottish Premiership omnipotence.
However, 23 shutouts in 48 league games across spells with Stockport, Bristol Rovers and Norwich suggest he wasn’t just hiding behind a superior rearguard in Glasgow.
In 2013/14 Champions League action Forster shut out 37 per cent of his 35 adversaries.
Representing the Hoops in Europe saw the 6ft7in stopper perform with a defence of far less satisfactory comparative quality.
Keeping goal behind Maya Yoshida and Matt Targett will hold few fears for a man who has kept the mighty Barcelona at bay with only the likes of Efe Ambrose for company.
Last season 15 Premier League foes drew a blank against Southampton.
Even if they only manage 66 per cent of their 2013/14 clean-sheet total this time around, the Saints can surpass the line the bwin layers have set them.
Furthermore, the fact that they’ve lost two of their first-choice back four this summer is mitigated by the between-the-sticks arrival of the England international.
Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord had the Eredivise’s third-best defence for the past two campaigns.
The Rotterdam outfit were resurrected under the Oranje legend, with his construction of a solid defence from a pool of greenhorns one of the key components.