Why Watford must pursue a deal for veteran goalkeeper Ben Foster
Watford endured a largely underwhelming campaign last time out as they finished 14th. The club sacked manager Marco Silva in January after a bad spell of performances and Spanish manager Javi Gracia was immediately signed to salvage the Hornets’ season. Gracia did a good job with the club over the last few months and he must make a strong start in the new campaign as well.
Watford were leaky at the back last season as they conceded a total of 64 goals across 38 games. One of Garcia’s top priorities should be to tighten up the backline. The manager has already completed a number of signings for the Hornets.
Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu was brought in from Barcelona and the club have also signed 22-year-old full-back Marc Navarro from Espanyol. In addition to that, they have also completed a deal for young centre-back Ben Wilmot from Stevenage.
Over the last few days, however, Watford have been linked with West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster. The Hornets are reportedly interested in bringing the goalkeeper to Vicarage road. Sky Sports reported last week that Ben Foster and defender Craig Dawson refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season training camp in Portugal, meaning an exit could be on the cards.
The veteran goalkeeper has one year left on his current contract and West Brom are reportedly holding out for a fee of £3million. The 35-year-old is one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League and has tons of experience in England.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper has made 288 appearances in the league, amassing a total of 72 clean sheets and 934 saves across his glittering career. Last season, Foster played 37 games for the Baggies, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process. He also made a total of 100 saves across the season.
Foster’s efforts were all in vain as the Baggies finished at the bottom of the table and were relegated to the Championship.
At the age of 35, the English goalkeeper has a lot left in him and his presence will make a massive difference to the Hornets’ backline. By offering him the prospect of regular game time, Gracia should convince the experienced shot-stopper to make the move to Watford. It would be a huge statement of intent from the Spanish coach, who must turn things around for the Hertfordshire-based outfit next season.