Birmingham complete signing of Ben Foster from Manchester United
Foster, 27, completed his medical this morning [Wednesday] after deciding that the move offers him the best chance to breathe new life into his club and international career, having narrowly missed out on Fabio Capello's provisional World Cup squad for South Africa. Although he was selected for successive internationals against Belarus and Brazil by Capello, Foster's club situation he made just nine Premier League starts last season after dropping behind Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak to third choice keeper counted against him in terms of making the England squad. Robert Green, David James and Joe Hart were all selected ahead of him. Foster leaves Manchester United with warm praise from his United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who called him the best English goalkeeper in the country. 'I think he deserves the opportunity to do better for himself,' Ferguson said. 'That's the reason we accepted the offer. I feel and I still am very strong about this, I think he's the best English goalkeeper in England.' Foster becomes Birmingham's first major signing of the summer, and an important one at that. Essentially, he has been brought in as replacement for Hart who has returned to Manchester City after a season long loan. The United keeper was singled out by Birmingham's goalkeeping coach Dave Watson, and signed off by manager Alex McLeish. "It looks as if we've got another great acquisition with Ben," said McLeish. "The goalkeeper is a massive position and we've now signed another young hungry goalkeeper who wants to prove himself and live up to his potential. We believe he is of the same kind of standard as Joe Hart. Ben's situation is similar to Joe's in that he found himself twiddling his thumbs behind another top keeper in Van der Saar. Van der Saar is a world class player and a hard act to follow. "Ben is ambitious and wants to play regular football and naturally doesn't want to play second fiddle. We think he can make a name for himself and it's up to him to do what Big Joe did."
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