Harper hails Toon team-mate

Keeper a big fan of his rival

Forster: Highly-rated

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper knows he faces a battle to keep the No.1 shirt next season following Fraser Forster's form at Norwich.

Forster, who is currently on loan at Norwich from Newcastle, is regarded as one of the best young keepers in the country.

The 22-year-old has been instrumental in Norwich's charge for promotion from League One this season and his performances have attracted the interest of the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Stoke.

However, Harper predicts Forster to stay at Newcastle and expects the keeper to push him all the way for a starting place in Chris Hughton's side in the Premier League next season.

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

"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."