Aidy: Foster to come to the fore
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: 28/02/07 5:39pm
Adrian Boothroyd believes that Ben Foster is ready to supplant Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United and become the best goalkeeper in world football.
The highly-rated shot stopper has been in outstanding form on loan at Watford this season and won his first international cap in England's friendly defeat to Spain.
Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to bring the 23-year-old back into the United fold in the summer and Boothroyd believes Foster is already capable of winning a regular place at Old Trafford.
Indeed, the Hornets boss has even tipped the former Stoke youngster to become the finest keeper in world football in the future.
"He recognises the fact he's just a cog in the wheel. He works harder at his game and that's why I think he'll be a future Manchester United and England number one," said Boothroyd.
"I'm sure he will be back at Manchester United next season.
"He's better than Edwin van der Sar in my opinion, but then I'm not picking the Manchester United team.
"He is going to be the best goalkeeper in the world, I'm convinced of that."
Boothroyd believes Foster possesses an innate skill for quickly and accurately distributing the ball, an attribute that former United hero Peter Schmeichel also mastered.
"Ben is a terrific player. He was injured for the 3-0 defeat by Everton and when you lose a player of his quality you really miss him," Boothroyd added.
"He has such a presence and an ability to start attacks, whether it's on a counter-attack with his long throws or whether it will be lofting a ball down the side for somebody to run onto.
"Even when the back pass comes to him from one side, he can drop the ball onto somebody's feet on the other side. He has exceptional talent and we are going to miss that.
"If you asked him he'd tell you he could play centre forward or left wing but I think he's best where he is. He's part of the team and has a great humility about him."