IT could be quite a reunion. Now Fraser Forster is back in the building, stretching his giant frame into a seat in the home dressing room at Lennoxtown, why not his former Celtic and Southampton pals Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk?

The 31-year-old glances down at the goalkeeper’s jersey he is poised to wear during his season-long loan from St Mary’s, No 67, and reveals that the Kenyan midfielder, a former wearer of said number, has already been in touch since he sealed his move back to the Scottish game on Thursday evening.

“I picked it, yeah,” said Forster. “But Victor was straight onto me after the game. He’s on at me and saying keep my shirt warm for a bit!”

“As for Virgil, it is unbelievable what he has done. Every time he plays, he just cruises through games,” the Englishman added. “He looks as if he is playing against players two years younger than him at Under-16 level. I’m buzzing for him because he is such a nice guy.”

READ MORE: Graeme McGarry: It shouldn't have taken UEFA sanction to draw a line in the sand for sectarian singing at Rangers

As it happened, Celtic’s former Kenyan midfielder was said to be interesting Bruges and Monaco yesterday but while the career trajectories of Wanyama and Van Dijk have risen and risen, Forster was another nice guy who encountered a bump in the road.

While he was a big success story at the club he joined for £12m, making 125 appearances, the heady heights of six England caps were long forgotten as he sustained a knee ligament injury then lost his place to the emerging talent of first Alex McCarthy and then Angus Gunn, not playing a single first team match between Boxing Day 2017 to May 2019.

“It was a strange spell,” said Forster. “I had a bad knee injury and that can happen to anyone. Then, coming out of the team when I’d played for about ten years before that was hard. I’d barely missed a game and then I was out.”

Everything, though, has come full circle – thanks to his former gaffer Neil Lennon. His second coming at the club – or really fourth, if you count his two previous loan spells – is happening after two seasons of relative inactivity at the age of 21. In other words, at much the same stage as Craig Gordon – the man who he seems likely to supplant in the Celtic first team – was when he essentially stepped into Forster’s shoes back in 2014. What Gordon has achieved in that five-year period proves that the Englishman has plenty left in the tank.

“I believe the best is still to come from me,” said Forster. “I’m only 31, which is young for a goalkeeper – I’m in my prime, really. I still feel that there’s plenty in the tank, especially after the gap year I’ve just had!

READ MORE: Neil Lennon: I used stories of my pass back against Boavista to prepare Jullien and Bolingoli for life at Celtic

“But you look at what Craig has come through and he was older then than I am now so there’s no reason why, if I look after myself and do the right things, that I can’t play on for a good chunk of time yet.

“The time out I had might even help me in that regard. I had about 18 months out due to the injury and then not playing and you learn a lot about yourself when you’re sitting in the stands.

“I’d never done that before – I’d always played – but the one positive thing is that during that period your workload and the consequent wear and tear is reduced.

“I was massively frustrated during that whole time but I still went to the games and supported the team because you still wanted them to do well. But your whole training schedule is built around playing at the weekend and, when you know that’s not going to happen, it’s hard.”

A goalkeeper is only as good as the ten outfield players lined up in front of him but Forster’s achievements at Celtic take some beating. There is a special mention for tending goal that famous night at Parkhead when Lionel Messi and Barcelona were sent home from the East End of Glasgow to think again, some memories too of the Scottish record of 1256 minutes he went without conceding a domestic goal, a stretch eventually broken by a screamer from his new team-mate Johnny Hayes. “It was a mis-hit!” jokes Forster. “He over-hit his through ball! No, I’m very proud of that. I was proud of it when we did it and looking back I’m still very proud of it.

READ MORE: Fraser Forster: I could be open to making my loan deal at Celtic into a permanent switch

“It was just a fantastic spell. Obviously, it comes down to the whole team. But I’ve just got so many good memories from being here. It’s hard to pick one.”

Forster may have been away from Celtic for five years but it feels like he has never been away. He was thrilled by the reaction he received upon his return to the club on Thursday night, having driven the length of the UK to sign on the dotted line, and has settled seamlessly back into life at Parkhead. Having been around at the start of the club’s pursuit of nine, or maybe ten, in a row, he has kept himself abreast of developments like the treble treble.

“Every Saturday I’d check their result and I’d watch all the televised games, especially the European ties,” said Forster. “I’ve been supporting the club because, once you’ve been a part of it, you become a fan as well.

“Coming back was the easiest decision I have ever made,” he added. “When I heard of Celtic’s interest, I said, ‘Yes, I want to go, I want to go’.

“The two clubs got it sorted and it was an absolute no-brainer for me.

“I couldn’t wait to get in the car and get up to Scotland. I drove all the way from Southampton.

“It’s lovely, it feels so natural. Everywhere you go, you just I feel like I have come home. I am buzzing.

“Watching the AIK game, it was really good to feel the atmosphere and see the stadium again.

READ MORE: Henrik Larsson recalls 'Bobo's gonna get you' chants as he starred for Barcelona at Celtic Park

“It was also a fantastic result and I am just buzzing to be back. I just want to get going again.

“It does feel a bit like I have come circle, coming back to work with the manager again. But for any player, when you play under someone who believes in you, it makes a big difference. He has done so much for me in my career and I will always be grateful for that.”

Whether Celtic’s other goalkeepers Gordon and the currently injured Scott Bain are quite so pleased to see him is another matter. Forster hasn’t come north to sit on the Parkhead bench – he could have done that unhappily on the South Coast if he had so desired – and you wouldn’t rule out Lennon throwing him straight into action against Hearts tomorrow in order to give him some sharpness ahead of the challenge of Rangers at Ibrox in a fortnight’s time.

“Football’s mad. It’s just swings and roundabouts all the time. What Craig did was fantastic – to come back after not playing for two years and just play at all was impressive but to then compete at the level he has done is ridiculous.

“For me, I just want to get into the team as quickly as possible and start playing again,” he added. “There are some very good ‘keepers here, obviously, but Bainy’s been unlucky with his thumb injury and Craig has been excellent since he came here so it’s going to be tough for me but competition is good for everyone.”