Everton should have signed Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster this summer, according to former Liverpool ace Chris Kirkland, who has been speaking exclusively to Football FanCast.
The Toffees strove to add depth between the sticks in the recent transfer market with failed approaches for Manchester United’s Sergio Romero, Tottenham Hotspur’s Paulo Gazzaniga and AS Roma’s Pau Lopez.
Carlo Ancelotti was eager to bring another shot-stopper to Goodison Park in the closing stages of the market to find competition for Jordan Pickford, who had suffered the latest in a long string of blunders against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Italian had previously warned Pickford that his form must improve following face-to-face talks earlier in the year, having been disappointed with the England number one’s erratic displays last season.
Eventually, Ancelotti settled on Roma’s Robin Olsen and acquired the Sweden international on a season-long loan without an option to buy. The 30-year-old later made his Everton debut in defeat to Newcastle United, but Kirkland believes Foster would have been exactly who the Merseyside outfit needed.
He told FFC:
“Everton, for me, should have signed Ben Foster in the summer to give Jordan that experience around him.
“I think he listened at times. I knew when to say things, I don’t think he’s got that at the minute there at Everton. I know they signed the keeper, but I think it would have woke Jordan up more saying blooming hell, got Ben Foster here.
“[He’s] played for England, played for Man U, been a top performer for years and years, I’ve got to up my game now. I’ve got to get back to basics and up my game and, yeah, I think Ben would have been in by now.”
Foster was relegated from the Premier League with Watford last season but remained at Vicarage Road after signing a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the age of 39 having otherwise been set to become a free agent.
The 37-year-old was an ever-present in the top-flight throughout Watford’s final year in the division, keeping nine clean sheets and making 117 saves – the sixth-most in the Premier League and 23 more than Pickford, per SofaScore.
Foster has remained an integral part of the Watford side since their return to the Championship, with the eight-time England international opening all 11 fixtures in which the Hornets have kept four clean sheets.
Pickford, meanwhile, remains an erratic mess between the sticks, having seen his blushed spared on Saturday when referee Paul Tierney opted against pointing to the spot when the 26-year-old clattered into Harry Maguire after inexcusably dropping the ball yards from his goal line.