Ben Foster has left relegated West Brom and rejoined Watford on an initial two-year deal. The 35-year-old goalkeeper is back at Vicarage Road where he enjoyed a successful loan spell between 2005 and 2007.
Foster made 81 appearances in his first stint at the club, helping them earn promotion to the Premier League. Foster was then voted the Hornet’s Player of the Season in the subsequent campaign.
Ben Foster Completes Watford Switch
Ben Foster is the third player to arrive at Vicarage Road this summer. Watford have already signed Spanish defender Marc Navarro from Espanyol and Italian Adam Masina from Bologna. The Hornets have the option to extend his contract by a further year should they wish and are understood to have paid four million pounds to secure Foster’s services.
The experienced ‘keeper will be hoping to nail down the number one spot at Watford having been the top choice at the Baggies for the past seven years. Foster arrived at The Hawthorns after signing from Birmingham City, initially on a season-long loan, in August 2011. He made his move to Albion permanent in 2012 and amassed 223 appearances for the Baggies in all competitions.
Foster’s arrival is key for Javi Gracia as he looks to replace Heurelho Gomes in goal. The 37-year-old Brazilian has resolved to leave the club and with former loanee Orestis Karnezis now at Napoli. A new ‘keeper was of paramount importance to Watford.
Leaving On A Sour Note
Ben Foster was one of the most popular players amongst fans at West Brom. Voted their player of the season on two occasions, few would’ve begrudged Foster a move back to the Premier League. However, Foster’s departure has left a sour taste in the mouths of fans who feel betrayed following the goalkeeper’s recent behaviour.
Spearheading the player movement that pushed the board to give Darren Moore the Baggies job permanently. Foster openly spoke in interviews about wanting to stay and help with the promotion push. But just weeks later, refused to attend a pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Foster, along with fellow want away Craig Dawson, stayed home in an effort to force a transfer away. With Foster getting his wish and seemingly Dawson will soon follow through the Albion exit. Baggies fans are left wondering what changed and questioning their squad depth ahead of the forthcoming season.
Watford have signed a very good goalkeeper in Ben Foster. Although in the twilight of his playing career, Foster has been a constant in the Premier League for some time. He currently sits ninth on the all-time clean sheet list, tied with former Manchester United favourite Edwin van der Sar with 72.
The 6ft 4in keeper, who made 41 appearances for the Baggies last season, had one year left on his contract. But his desire to play out his career at the highest level has lead him back to Vicarage Road where his form resulted in his England debut in February 2007.
Ben Foster is tasked with keeping goal as Watford look for a top half finish this season. He still holds the ability to produce game-saving stops, even this late in his career.
Watford have gained an experienced Premier League goalkeeper who is easily capable of a couple more good campaigns. This is good business by Watford, who have filled a big hole in their squad with a reliable player.
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