Glasgow Rangers have been advised to look at bringing in the ‘experience’ of one free agent goalkeeper.
The Ibrox club have lost one of their goalkeeping options this summer, with Andy Firth joining Welsh outfit Connah’s Quay on a free transfer.
Were he to leave, that would leave Giovanni van Bronckhorst with Jon McLaughlin (who started the Premiership opener against Livingston on Saturday), Allan McGregor (now 40 years old) and Kieran Wright (never played a senior game for the club) as his goalkeepers.
Ben Foster is currently without a club after leaving Watford at the end of the season following their relegation to the Championship, and former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan name-checked him as an ideal prospective free transfer for Rangers to consider.
Whelan says that the Gers should look to emulate Celtic’s signing of Joe Hart 12 months ago.
He feels it’s important for Rangers to bolster their goalkeeping ranks with another veteran who can step in and deliver when required, and in his eyes, Foster has the ‘hunger’ and the pedigree needed to be a success at Ibrox.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think there are players out there [to replace McGregor] – with Ben Foster one of them. They’ll have seen what Celtic have done with Joe Hart.
“He’s got the experience, he’s still got the hunger – and he can deal with European football as well, having been in and around that England set-up.
“There are options out there. I think they will probably look for a bit more experience. To get rid of two goalkeepers – if you’re bringing in one, you have to get it right.
“McGregor is probably susceptible to a lot more injuries and knocks now, so you have to get it spot on.”
Foster didn’t have a particularly strong season for Watford in 2021/22, conceding 4.6 goals more than he ‘should’ have (against post-shot xG). That actually ranked him 39th among the goalkeepers to feature in last season’s English top flight, with only three ‘keepers posting a poorer shot-stopping record.
However, the 39-year-old – once of Manchester United – will inevitably have accrued a huge amount of knowledge from his 389 top-flight matches. Indeed, that ranks just inside the top 50 in the Premier League record books, while his tally of 92 clean sheets in the division puts him 17th on the all-time list.
Furthermore, he holds the record for the most saves made in Premier League history with 1,248, almost 200 more than David de Gea in second.
That may explain why his former Watford boss Roy Hodgson reckons Foster is ‘a real top-class goalkeeper‘ who is more than worthy of playing at the highest level.
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However, were he to come to Ibrox, there may be some Rangers fans who would take umbrage with some comments that he has made.
Last season, the 39-year-old criticised former Gers boss Steven Gerrard for his frosty response to a question from BT Sport interviewer Des Kelly (via Daily Record), while he has also hailed the atmosphere at Celtic as the ‘best’ he’s ever played in.
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