Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds ready to make Ben Foster eat his words as transfer strategy for keeper emerges

Ben Foster warms up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Watford at Selhurst Park

Leeds United are ready to push forward with their plans to sign free-agent goalkeeper Ben Foster, according to a report.

The 39-yearr-old stalwart is a free agent after leaving Watford at the end of June, with his contract expiring. The former England goalkeeper made 26 Premier League appearances last season, but was unable to prevent the Hornets suffering an immediate return to the Championship.

He has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds as they look to bring in an experienced deputy for Illan Meslier. The France U21 keeper is one of Leeds’ biggest assets, having become their undisputed No 1. Indeed, Meslier has rarely missed a game since coming into the side during their promotion season.

However, part of that reason is down to the fact that Leeds do not have a go-to No 2. When Meslier’s form dipped at times during the 2021/22 season, Leeds only had the inexperienced Krisoffer Klaessen to call upon.

The Norwegian, though, let no-one down when stepping off the bench in the win at Wolves. That said, Jesse Marsch reportedly wants more experienced cover for Meslier and someone who can help keep the 22-year-old on his toes.

Now the Daily Mail claims they are ready to step up their hunt to sign Foster.

Leeds are reportedly willing to offer him an initial one-year deal to bring him in as Meslier’s deputy.

And TEAMtalk understands that could include a one-year option to those terms if all parties are happy with the arrangement.

The signing of Foster would perhaps be seen as a controversial one given his past association with Manchester United.

Ben Foster expects Leeds to struggle

Furthermore, Foster also recently tipped Leeds to be among the relegation candidates once again. Marsch’s side narrowly escaped the drop, having recorded a 2-1 win at Brentford on the final day to secure their status.

And having sold Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, he has told his YouTube channel why he thinks they’ll be in the mix again.

“I think it will be another tough season for them. Raphinha has gone out of the door, Kalvin Phillips has gone out of the door. They’ll miss them,” he said.

“They are recruiting, but still, I do like the manager though. I do love Jesse Marsch. I don’t think they’ll get relegated, but I think they will struggle, I have them down in 16th place.”

While it is easy to agree with Foster’s assessment, there is no denying Leeds have recruited well.

Using the money generated from those sales, Leeds have made seven first-team signings this summer. Three of those have come in central midfield, hopefully ensuring Phillips will not be missed.

And they have also signed Luis Sinisterra to play on the wing. It’ll be a tall order to replace the magic that Raphinha brought to Leeds United. However, the Colombian does appear to have all the assets.

How will Leeds fare in the Premier League next season without Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips?

How will Leeds cope without Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in the upcoming campaign?

And with Brenden Aaronson hoping to provide some attacking thrust, Leeds will hope to make Foster eat his words.

As such, a mid-table finish will surely be their aim this season.

The recruitment of Foster could play a small part in helping the club achieve that.

Meanwhile, Leeds hopes are growing for Charles De Ketelaere after Milan and Brugges missed their self-inflicted deadline over the deal.