WATCHING from afar, Fraser Forster knew that he was coming back to join a talented Celtic squad, but it was only when he has worked with the players at close quarters that he realised just how good they were.

So impressed has Forster been, particularly with younger talent like Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie, that he feels the current group of Celtic players would more than hold their own against the likes of his parent club Southampton, and that they could easily survive if they were playing in the English Premier League.

“I have been surprised at just how good they are,” Forster said.

“I knew there was a good squad here the second I came through the door but until you actually see people in training and day in day out and you see what they can do ..

“The young lads especially are so talented. As they gather that experience they are just going to get better and better.

“Ryan Christie has been absolutely brilliant. Even from that very first game I watched, he was so positive. Everything he does, he looks to get turned and play up the pitch.

“Edouard’s been brilliant. He’s such an exciting talent. He’s another one when you see him in training that you really appreciate his quality.

“He’s a fantastic player and we’re very fortunate that he’s in our squad and team.

“I just think we’ve got such a good mix of youth and experience.

“It’s hard when you compare with north and south of the border. I definitely don’t see this as being a step down or backwards. Ultimately, I’ve come here to win trophies and compete at the top of the league. Not many people in football get to go out and do that and try and win competitions.

“I think we’d do alright (in the EPL). Looking at what we’ve got in the dressing room and the team we’ve got, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t have a comfortable season in the Premier League.”