It almost seems as if an eternity has past since we last heard or seen Ben Foster on a football pitch. The 27-year-old England goalkeeper has been left in the closet as if he were a broken down vacuum cleaner after several blunders this season have forced Sir Alex Ferguson to drop him from his current plans.
However the United chief has expressed that the goalkeeper does have a future at the club. Fergie spoke to the Times and had this to say on the matter:
“Ben has been unfortunate, he made some mistakes earlier in the season. Tomasz Kuszczak got in and his form was great. So what do I do? Pick Ben because he’s English? Or go with form? I have to go with form” – Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United will look for a suitable replacement for the ageing, yet brilliant, Edwin van der Sar during the summer. The club are reported to be keeping close tabs on a number of goalkeepers around Europe which include the likes of, Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Shalke 04’s Manuel Neuer and Russian goal-stopper Igor Akinfeev of CSKA Moscow.
Although Fergie has left the door open for Ben should he decide to leave, he is adamant that the goalkeeper will stay and be at the club for the start of next season to prove his worth, he says in the Times today:
“He has fantastic talent and I am sure he will be tremendous next year. The boy has just signed a new contract and has never said anything to me [about his future], so as far as I know he will be here next season” – Sir Alex Ferguson
Ben Foster has the proficiency to be a world-stopper for country and club, but due to his situation at Manchester United he can not develop whilst he claims a seat on the bench…he needs to be playing football week in week out.
Unfortunately for him Capello cannot even think about taking Foster to South Africa if he does not start for his domestic team.
Ben Foster has only managed to appear 10 times in all competitions this season (9 of which have been in the premiership). This is simply not acceptable if you want to book your ticket to the world cup, Capello and fans will know this to be true.
So what are Foster’s alternatives? Well, there are a few options available to him, he could stay at United and fight to regain his spot next season, hand in a transfer request, or, go out on a season long loan as he has done in the past. The loan or transfer option would be the best bet for Ben at this stage in his career. He needs to regain form and most importantly confidence after a season he has had.
It was reported in the Sun newspaper today that Birmingham City are monitoring Ben Foster’s movements, and look to be acting on the situation in the summer with a possible 5 million bid. This however will depend on whether Joe Hart is sent packing back to Manchester City next season (it looks pretty conclusive that he will, due to the injury sustained to Shay Given last week).
Different doors will always be open for Ben Foster, and if he can get himself into a position where he feels comfortable and playing regular football, then there is no reason why he can’t show the undoubted ability he possesses to his boss, and the nation.
Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/TMer4kl1