Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster looks to be on the move again as he is set to complete a £4m switch to Birmingham City.
The 27-year-old has dropped down the Red Devils pecking order this season due to a string of errors earlier in the campaign (most notably against Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland). Edwin van der Sar, Tomasz Kuszczak and even reserve team stopper Ben Amos now finding themselves in front of the England international. Foster only signed a new four year contract at Old Trafford last season but the moves comes as little surprise as he told the BBC last week he was contemplating a move away from Old Trafford: “You never want to leave Man United, but I want to be playing football. I am not interested in just hanging about. I would go if the club wanted to sell me.”
Although Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson still highly rates Foster, his lack of first team opportunities have cost the keeper a place in Fabio Capello’s 30 man World Cup squad. When Foster Completes his move to St Andrews it will be his tenth club in as many years, from Racing Club Warwick in the Midland football Combination all the way to Old Trafford. This is a staggering statistic for someone at the age of just 27 and clearly shows he needs to find a permanent home. He moved from Racing Club to Stoke in 2001 where he had five spells out on loan at Bristol City, Tiverton Town, Stafford Rangers, Kidderminster Harriers and Wrexham before sealing a dream transfer to the Theatre of Dreams. There he was shipped out to Watford where he arguably produced his best form, winning promotion to the Premier league where his eye catching performances earned him the Hornets player of the season.
His rapid rise earned him a return to Old Trafford where he has won two league cup medals, one against Tottenham in 2009 when he made a match winning save in a penalty shoot out. England have come calling too with Foster winning four caps, the last of which was in the 1-0 friendly loss to Brazil last November. Since then, a combination of bruised ribs and the lack of football compared to Joe Hart and Robert Green have blown Fosters hopes of a recall. Ironically, Hart has been Birmingham’s player of the season this year helping the Blue’s to a ninth place finish. His terrific form has seen him deservedly claim a World Cup spot ahead of Foster and still has an outside chance of claiming the number one spot. Hart has had to return to his parent club Manchester City where Coach Roberto Mancini is keen to have two top keepers amongst his ranks.
Foster will be hoping his move can resemble that of Hart’s by reigniting his England career. More importantly however he is looking for regular football and that home he has always craved.