Sir Alex must go that extra mile to secure Dutchman

Football FanCast guest columnist Dan Bridges feels Fergie needs to go that extra mile in order to ensure that Van Der Sar signs a new one year deal.

I am sure I wasn't the only United fan who breathed a huge sigh of relief at seeing the big man return between the sticks yesterday, after weeks of the calamitous and unpredictability of a certain Ben Foster. Suddenly we had a presence in the backline and it certainly showed.

Watching Van der Sar yesterday only went to highlight the massive job that faces Sir Alex as to how he goes about replacing him. The Dutchman claimed a few weeks back that he is still undecided about his future and whether this season will in fact prove to be his last, but surely Fergie needs to get in there and start talking him around. Sir Alex came out yesterday and suggested that he is prepared to wait for Edwin to make his announcement in December and will respect any decision that he makes, but surely in United's best interests he needs to help that process along.

Top quality keepers are few and far between and as we found in trying to replace Schmeichel over a series of years, it is no easy task. Ben Foster is perhaps the answer in a few years time, but for me he needs to play regularly and whether it means we send him out on loan to a Premier League side to build up the series of games to restore his confidence and give him greater experience then so be it, but at the moment we cannot afford to keep persevering in the hope he can find his feet. Unfortunately at a club like United you need the finished article at your disposal and that is why Fergie mustn't allow Van der Sar to quit without a fight.