The long anticipated arrival of a big name goalkeeper to Manchester United appears to have been put on hold by Sir Alex Ferguson. The manager has revealed that he would not be replacing goalkeeper Ben Foster who is on the verge of completing a £6m move to Birmingham City. He will instead be promoting Ben Amos from the reserves to the first team squad alongside Edwin Van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak.
“When we decided to let Foster go, we were in the process of letting Amos, who is a good young goalkeeper, go out on loan” Ferguson said “He’s in the England Under 21 team but we can only accommodate three keepers. So when the situation with Foster’s future at Manchester United came into it and we agreed to let him go, we stopped Amos from going on loan. He will now be our third goalkeeper, he’s very talented and has a good future ahead of him.”
Speaking at a press conference in New York to promote United’s four game North American tour this summer Ferguson said of Foster’s move to Birmingham “I think Ben deserves the opportunity to do better for himself, that’s the reason we accepted the offer. I still feel very strongly about this… I think he’s the best English goalkeeper in England”
Sir Alex then turned to the question of reinforcements for next season “The structure of our squad is good in terms of ages, the balance, the numbers and there’s a lot of good young players. Sometimes you have to trust in the development of the last few years and I’m going to stick with that, or most of it.”
“There may be one signing and maybe we’d like to get a good player to the club” but then admitted that “it’s not easy in the present day climate and I’ve nothing definite to tell you because we’re still assessing whoever’s available and the difficulties in terms of who you’d bring in.”
Amos has worked his way through the Old Trafford ranks since the age of 11 and joined the club’s Academy in July 2006. He quickly established himself in Paul McGuinness’ Under 18s side in the 2006-07 campaign and made his Reserves debut in November 2007.
The 20 year olds’ stature within the United ranks was underlined when he made two impressive appearances in the first team’s 2008-09 pre season campaign then turned in a commanding display as United overcame Middlesbrough in the third round of the Carling Cup at Old Trafford the following month.
Having convinced United’s coaching staff that he has the skill and temperament for first team football, Amos was picked as a late replacement for the injured Foster to travel as part of the successful Club World Cup campaign. All three keepers are likely to travel across the Atlantic with the United squad this summer.
The club’s summer tour will begin with a training camp in Chicago followed by friendlies against Celtic in Toronto on 16 July, the Philadelphia Union in Philadelphia on 21 July, the Kansas City Wizards in Kansas four days later and the MLS All Stars in Houston on 28 July. Ferguson will give his World Cup players leave of absence from the tour, which will move on to Mexico and a game against Guadalajara which was agreed as part of the deal to sign Hernandez.
Depending on Mexico’s progress in South Africa, Hernandez is pencilled in to feature in the game. Ferguson added “It depends when his last game is for Mexico. Normally we give the players 28 days rest but in the case of Hernandez we’ll bring him to Philadelphia as soon as his games with Mexico are finished. The simple reason is he’s young and I think he can handle coming in for training but more importantly, it’s for him to integrate into the squad because he doesn’t know any of the players”.
Should Tomasz Kuszczak be transferred instead of Foster?