Relegated goalkeeper 'would love' to replace Bernd Leno as Arsenal's number two

Watford’s out-of-contract goalkeeper Ben Foster says he ‘would love’ to join Arsenal as backup to Aaron Ramsdale and feels his experience could be really beneficial to the young shot-stopper.

After moving to north London from Sheffield United last summer, Ramsdale quickly usurped Bernd Leno as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice keeper and the German backup is expected to be sold in the coming months with Benfica reportedly interested.

Arsenal have already secured a deal to sign American goalkeeper Matt Turner from MLS side New England Revolution but there have been suggestions Arteta could raid the transfer market for a more experienced, homegrown alternative.

Foster certainly ticks those boxes and he will be available on a free transfer after his contract with the relegated Hornets expires at the end of the month, leaving Vicarage Road after six years at the club.

Although the 39-year-old started 17 consecutive matches in the second half of the campaign, keeping Daniel Bachmann out of the starting XI, he says he would jump at the chance to play understudy to Ramsdale and feels he can improve the England international.

Speaking on his podcast, the Fozcast, Foster confirmed he would be happy to take up a number two role at a Premier League club such as Arsenal: ‘Yeah I think I would to be honest with you.

‘If I’m signing for a club as a number two goalkeeper, depending on who the first-choice goalkeeper is, so say it was someone like Arsenal or even Aston Villa for example where you’ve got the first choice goalie I know is a world-class goalkeeper.

‘So someone like Ramsdale or Emi Martinez, I know I’ve got a world-class goalkeeper in front of me who’s still at an age where they’re learning and they can get better – because they can, they’ve got the potential.

‘I will, at that point, say, “Right I am going to help you as much as I can to maximise your ability and make sure that you become an absolute monster, a beast, and give you all the tools that I’ve learned.”

‘I’d love to be able to do that, and I can happily go in every day [to training] knowing that’s my role because it’s an important role still, a massive role. And I’d love to be able to do that and buzz off them making saves, I’d be that guy on the bench jumping up going, “Oh what a save! That’s my goalie! That’s my boy!” It would be brilliant. I would love to do that.

‘Whereas, on the other side of it, if I sign for a club and they say, “We’ve got a first choice goalie but we want you to be number two”, and when I get into that football club if I see him in training and I think I’m better than him, that will drive me even harder to prove to everyone that I’m still good to go.

‘Don’t get me wrong, if it’s for someone like Rambo I’m still training my head off, because that’s what I’m like, I love training, I love putting the graft in.

‘But it’s an interesting one, I think I would, I think I’m at an age where I could be a number two, I really could. I had to deal with it last year and even at the start of this season I wasn’t playing to start with, and I’m very good at getting behind the goalie that’s playing and being a cheerleader and getting him ready for the game.

‘I think that comes with age as well, it’s something where you have to let your ego go and say, “It’s your turn, it’s your time, I’m going to help you get ready”.’

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