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Begovic likely to be first summer signing

| Saturday, 17 July 2021 67comments  |  Jump to last
Asmir Begovic looks set to become the first acquisition of Rafael Benitez's tenure as Everton close in on the Bournemouth keeper.

The 34-year-old has a year left in his existing agreement with the Cherries but the Blues have reportedly struck a deal and have secured him on a two-year contract.

Everton have been linked with Pierluigi Gollini in Italy and Sergio Romero, who is out of contract at Manchester United, but have turned to Begovic instead.

The Bosnian, who has had spells with Ipswich, Stoke and Chelsea and spent part of last year on loan at AC Milan, has been seen in Liverpool today where he underwent a successful medical.

Reader Comments (67)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 17/07/2021 at 19:54:48
Another safe and experienced pair of hands I suppose but with all the keepers we have been linked with as back up to Jordan, this does seem very low profile in comparison, with those that have been mooted as being of 'potential interest'.
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:22:31
Another year’s wages on a player who we will see very little of I imagine. I’d have kept Olsen, or bought Romero, to really keep Pickers on his toes.
Kevin Molloy
3 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:24:41
I suspect after Jordan's strong finish that the need for a top quality no 2 has diminished somewhat.
Derek Knox
4 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:44:47
Kevin, that is assuming his 'head hasn't been turned' (Jordan) probably Paper/Journo/Agent crap, but I have seen 'alleged interest' from Man City.
Brian Ronson
5 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:56:29
Allegedly, Olsen would have cost £4 million with wages on top. Romero probably wouldn't want to be No 2. Seems like a good move to bring in a keeper with Premier League experience as cover, who has to have the mentality to wait, whereas he could be called upon at any time if Jordan gets injured.
Alex Gray
6 Posted 17/07/2021 at 21:03:35
If he's on minimal wages then no issue with this. Reliable backup without challenging Jordan Pickford.
Justin Doone
7 Posted 17/07/2021 at 22:22:51
I'm a little disappointed to be honest. I think he's a below par keeper and is never going to challenge Pickford who admitted himself that he needed strong competition to be at his best.

I thought Olsen was very solid and offered serious competition.

Iakovos Iasonidis
8 Posted 17/07/2021 at 23:08:18
Good enough for Number 2, minimum cost, let's move on...
Ian Horan
9 Posted 17/07/2021 at 23:10:18
Watch this fella for Bournemouth in the play offs, an accident waiting to happen!! Spent more time arguing with Brentford players and trying to con the referee... totally underwhelmed by this one...
Mal van Schaick
10 Posted 17/07/2021 at 23:35:14
I’m pretty sure he was on our radar and didn’t sign years ago. Why, should we sign him now? Look elsewhere.
Jay Harris
11 Posted 17/07/2021 at 23:58:49
I think his best years are well behind him but, seeing as we are becoming a retirement home for the elderly and consistently injured, he may well fit in.
Bill Gienapp
12 Posted 18/07/2021 at 00:11:10
He's an okay backup – a step up from Lössl and a step down from Olsen, IMO.

My main memory of him was when he moved from Stoke to Chelsea and seemed genuinely mystified that he wasn't getting regular playing time.

Dave Bowen
13 Posted 18/07/2021 at 00:25:41
Happy with this. Good keeper with plenty of Premier League experience. I would've preferred Olsen, but it was widely reported at the time that he didn't want to stay after the despicable burglary on his home last season.
Joe Digney
14 Posted 18/07/2021 at 01:57:11
Happy with Begovic as a back-up. Apart from the play-offs, Bournemouth supporters on social media say he was a very important player for them.

More interesting are the rumors all round social media that Townsend is signing on a free too, pretty underwhelming if true.

Brian Murray
15 Posted 18/07/2021 at 02:10:46
Joe. Let’s hope it’s a miss print and he’s looking for digs on Townsend. Not exactly what we had in mind with our Marcel but still time yet.
Joe Digney
16 Posted 18/07/2021 at 02:50:11
If he's a replacement for Bernard to warm the bench on much lesser wages I can see it in a more positive light I suppose.

Most concerning rumors I've just seen everywhere is regarding Sigurdsson, it surely can't be true and it's just more vile people making up rumors.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 18/07/2021 at 03:04:07
Bungles Begovic doesn't thrill me one bit. I still remember the howler against the RS a few years ago. I'll be praying for the ongoing good health of Jordan Pickford.

As for Townsend, he was once a pretty good player -- I remember a gamewinner against City a couple years ago -- and it seems to me he didn't miss a game for about five seasons, but honestly I had completely forgotten he was in the league. I looked him up and he's only 30. Hard to believe he's a ruptured duck so young.

Kieran Kinsella
18 Posted 18/07/2021 at 03:14:40
Olsen said he was unhappy with his playing time so I'm not sure we could have kept him even if we wanted to. He's too good to be a back-up for a mid-table or even a Europa League team.

Begovic is another Stekelenburg, capable of brilliance and bungles, big, tall and experienced. With our budget, I'd be content with him as a Number 2.

Townsend? No thank you. Nice fellow, smart guy, exciting film reel but just not enough product from his games played.

Mike Gaynes
19 Posted 18/07/2021 at 03:33:47
Joe #16, Begovic is a better goalscorer than Bernard:

Bobby Mallon
20 Posted 18/07/2021 at 05:23:20
We already have a Number 2 goalkeeper in Virginia, so a Number 3 on a free transfer is not bad.
Brian Murray
21 Posted 18/07/2021 at 06:29:48
Joe post 16. What are the vile rumours over Sigurdsson? Maybe that he's deceived the club and he can run. Get rid.
Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 18/07/2021 at 07:12:28
This is the sort of forward thinking we want from Everton as If we don't sign another keeper, then we will not be able to put two on the bench and have any left over for both U23s and U18s, unless they play on Tuesdays or re-sign Hansen from Swansea.

Now for that new centre-half...

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 18/07/2021 at 07:42:21
As others have said, Begovic is a step down from Olsen and probably a step up from Lössl. As a reserve keeper on minimal wages, he's fine… but the big question will be how Pickford reacts with lesser competition; his best form last season came after Olsen had been used and done well for a few games.

As for Townsend, I'd have no issue signing him on a free for minimal wages; so long as we are signing a higher class right-winger as well. Townsend is a very decent and experienced pro who works hard, knows the Premier League, and has some decent numbers creatively, even if those chances were not always put away. He'd be a squad player (with a decent injury history) able to play on either wing who could be relied on to mostly give 7/10 performances. Last season, he put in 2.3 tackles per match (3rd highest at Crystal Palace), which tells you something about his work-rate, whilst also producing more key passes per match than Zaha.

Tony Everan
24 Posted 18/07/2021 at 08:10:37
He's a good No 2, no fee, and probably acceptable wage. With Finacial Fair Play and finance needed for much strengthening elsewhere, it's a good fit. The truth is this is just a warm-up act to the main transfer business.
Steve Shave
25 Posted 18/07/2021 at 08:42:18
My sentiments exactly, Tony. I see nothing wrong with this signing: a solid back-up option. Yes, it would have been nice to have got Romero on a free but, as someone else pointed out, he is likely to want first-team footie. He would have wanted big £££ too. We are better saving these readies to target outfield quality.

Townsend on the bench? I'm ambivalent about that. I want us to sell Kean and spend wisely on a back-up striker and a good right-back with the bulk of our £££ going on a right-midfielder.

Christy Ring
26 Posted 18/07/2021 at 09:37:16
Begovic was on 70k a week at B'mouth. Natalie Sawyer was saying on talksport, his attitude in the playoffs against Brentford, her team, was awful. Still a good experienced backup keeper.
Justin Doone
27 Posted 18/07/2021 at 09:52:44
Townsend is probably a smarter player than Walcott and could do a good job. But he's more of the same in terms of mid-table quality.

For me, he's not as good as King, but probably works harder for the team.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 18/07/2021 at 10:02:52
I heard they thought they had a chance off shifting Iwobi, until they found out how much money he his earning each week, and then it became obvious that it was going to be impossible!

I don't mind Townsend, Sam; whenever he's played against Everton, it is always noticeable that he works hard. What's Damari Grey like? I've heard he's also available for next to nothing or, in other words, cheap!

Kim Vivian
29 Posted 18/07/2021 at 10:04:41
This is NOT the signing I was hoping to read about.
Dennis Stevens
30 Posted 18/07/2021 at 10:16:35
I wonder if this means Virginia will be off on another loan.
Pat Kelly
31 Posted 18/07/2021 at 10:18:11
Hats off to Brands for discovering Begovic and Townsend.
Danny Baily
32 Posted 18/07/2021 at 10:48:41
Haha Pat 31, beat me to it! Thank god no other teams have the CD ROM for Championship Manager 11-12.
Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:05:51
I’ve just had a text from a mate in London, which is saying he’s hearing Townsend has signed for Everton, but I don’t know if this is true.
Chris Williams
34 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:09:19
Was he at Newcastle with Rafa, Tony?
Alun Jones
35 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:12:11
Seems a solid signing with someone who knows his position as back up. I would have been amazed if Olsen came back to us after playing as Swedish Number One in the Euros and then being back up to Pickford without probably the rotation that Carlo favoured. It’s unrealistic to expect a national team first choice to sit on the bench for us next season.
Fran Mitchell
36 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:12:41
Begovic has never really impressed me, even when he was highly rated at Stoke. And has looked to be increasingly unrelaible in recent seasons. No really what we want in a reserve.

Interesting that in this summer's euros, 3 of our former reserves were involved: Stekelenberg no1 with Netherlands, Olsen no1 with Sweden, and Lossl as understudy at Denmark.

I guess Begovic being available for free is the key point, but would prefer someone who could provide more viable pressure on Pickford. Olsen did this and its effect was clear.

As for Townsend - I guess as a substitute, and for free, its not a bad move I mean, he's better than Iwobi...not that that says much

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:15:21
Only for the few games whilst Benitez was in charge of the team that got relegated, and then he was off Chris, but I heard they had a great relationship and Townsend had a lot of respect for Benitez.

It's just a shame we couldn't have shifted Iwobi to Palace unless he surprises us if he gets a chance as a No 10.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:17:40
I've no problem with signing Townsend and Begovic. We're light in both positions and they presumably fill gaps for very modest outlay for a few years.

Hopefully it allows us to pay the money to get a really good quality 3 or 4 players with more long term first XI credentials.

Whether it's Olsen, Begovic or Romero seems to matter very little.

Hopefully Townsend plays second fiddle to Bailey or Diaby or Neres in which case we probably forget he's on the books unless they get injured or spared league cup games.

Chris Williams
39 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:18:26
Might have legs this one Tony?

Not holding my breath with Iwobi, but remain open to being delighted. As always

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:24:19
I said in a post yesterday that Benitez is here to hopefully keep Everton in the Premier league while spending very little. Its crystal clear why nobody else was in the frame Conte or Galtier would have wanted a decent transfer budget but it seems as there will be very little to spend on players, were Benitez was so desperate to get back managing in the Premier league he was probably the only one who would agree to these terms. Nearly all the posts say Begovic and Townsend if true are decent back ups, surely finishing outside the top 10 we should be looking at first team players not back ups.
Sam Hoare
41 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:34:32
Brian, I’d guess and hope that the logic is if you can bring in a backup or smaller wages than your current backup it gives you more room to get the premium players.

For example if we can sell Bernard, who’s on 120k, and replace with Townsend, who might be on 60k, that gives us an extra 60k per week to put towards signing Bailey or Diaby etc.

The worry may be that with stadium work starting that Moshiri is really closing the purse strings and that Townsend would be the only RW in. But hopefully that’s not true!

Brian Harrison
42 Posted 18/07/2021 at 11:45:14

Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly the club ie Moshiri/Usmanov have to find £500,000 to build the stadium and jus as happened at Arsenal and Spurs the spending on the first team was greatly reduced. And given that unlike Arsenal and Spurs they weren't in the middle of a pandemic that has massively impacted on clubs finances. So they appointed a manager who they felt was a safe pair of hands to keep Everton in the Premier league as otherwise they would never recoup their outlay. So I predict there will be more bargain basement signings than ones that get us off our seats like James, who sadly looks like we will never see him play in a blue shirt only those lucky enough to have got tickets during lockdown will have had that pleasure.

Barry Hesketh
43 Posted 18/07/2021 at 12:09:10
I think the stadium is an important aspect of the club's thinking as regards expenditure, however, even without a stadium on the horizon, the need to balance the books would have been a pressing one regardless.

Getting the wage bill down to a level that is acceptable and helps keep the club within the bounds of FFP is a necessity and not a choice, if the club can keep its better players whilst signing cheaper squad options such as Begovic and Townsend to replace the more expensive ones is likely the reason why the club decided to go for Benitez and not gamble on somebody who wanted a huge pot to instantly alter the makeup of the squad.

That's the price the club has had to pay for throwing money away on quite ordinary players on huge pay packets and long contracts.

Keith Gleave
44 Posted 18/07/2021 at 12:10:01
You know it beggars belief to me, we pick an experienced keeper who has plenty premier league experience and we moan. Colin you then say Olson, who would have cost us and Romero, who would have wanted greater wages and hardly played. Honestly what do people want.
Jeff Armstrong
45 Posted 18/07/2021 at 12:19:11
Brian#42, I don’t think James played in any of the games last season where fans where present, so unless he stays with us for the coming season, no fans will have seen him in our colours at a live game, which is a shame, as TV only gives you half the experience of a live match imo.
Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 18/07/2021 at 12:38:31
Football is such a difficult game to predict at times imo though, and having a close nit squad with lads who have got pride and play for the shirt, is really, really underestimated imo. Remember Kevin Campbell saying we would take 4th from bottom now, after Arsenal demolished us at Goodison on the opening day, and then Moyes found a system that really suited the squad, and Everton got top four.

I’m not saying this is going to happen, especially because if things start badly then things could get really toxic, but this squad wasn’t that far away from the top places last season, even if the style of football they played was.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 18/07/2021 at 12:47:39
The keeper deal is okay with me. I remember a few raising a brow when we bought in Olsen, so let's wait and see. He brings experience and has been part of a squad that won the Champions League.

Bit underwhelmed by the Townsend links, but he has declared he expects to sign for a new club soon.

If it's part of a strategy of replacing higher earners with like for like as Sam Hoare suggests, then I see the logic in the deal. Again let's see.

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 18/07/2021 at 13:49:48
"30 seconds of brilliance followed by an hour and a half of a anonymity. Good on the attack & if you're winning, lazy & no defensive qualities if you're losing"

Football is all about opinion & different views on how we see the game, but a worrying response to my ask about Townsend to my Newcastle season ticket holder friend!!

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 18/07/2021 at 14:30:02
Mike (17)Mike that blunder by Pickford wasn’t a few years ago, it was two years, eight months, several days and about twenty one hours ago at a rough calculation, picture it every so often, with you and me looking at each with open mouths and unbelieving eyes, it will never,ever be forgotten.
Tony Everan
50 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:02:21
Townsend, if true, gives us some squad depth on the cheap, Bolaise’s gone and Bernard probably soon too. FFP restrictions have already been alluded to, so this signing plays into that narrative. Hopefully signed as squad backup to a more exciting and dynamic right sided forward
/winger which will be one of the priority signings.
Derek Knox
51 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:08:17
Having read all the posts I never really thought about the 'really keeping Jordan on his toes' aspect, I was just thinking he (Begovic) is no greenhorn, has experience in the Prem, albeit a short one, but from what I have seen of him, we could have done a lot better, but then again we could have done worse.

Maybe there are restraints on the Budget, until we can ship a few out. Having said that, most Goalkeepers want to be 'Numero Uno', and are not too happy being a bench warmer (understandable too) but while keeping Jordan up to speed, they surely would cost a lot more than Asmir! (can call him that, now he is one of us!)

Phil Bickerstaff
52 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:18:37
I cannot go another season watching Iwobi
Please pay some team to take him of our hands
He would fit in well at Accrington Stanley
Martin Reppion
53 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:22:33
Begovic will be a good, 'safe', signing.
Townsend worries me. His early career seemed to involve shining brightly then tailing off before being moved on by managers. That made me think he must have been hard work off the field. More recently he has appeared in the media as a very mature person and his player stats are good. He also has that X factor in him where he can produce something out of the ordinary.
If the recent evidence is the real Townsend then he will be a good signing.
Andrew Ellams
54 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:28:28
Townshend is a 30yo journeyman who never lived up to his early hype. If he is genuinely what we are looking at for the right hand side we are in big trouble.
Colin Glassar
55 Posted 18/07/2021 at 15:51:02
Where are these Townsend rumours coming from? I don’t see them anywhere except on here. I think I’d prefer Andy Townsend if I’m honest to his fella.

Keith 44, yes Begovic has plenty of experience. Picking ball out of the back of the net!!

I’m praying that former gooner, Patrick Viera wants to take former gooner, Alex Iwobi back to London with him🙏🙏🙏

Soren Moyer
56 Posted 18/07/2021 at 16:15:01
£72 k a week for a bench warmer. We must be REALLY loaded!!!
Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 18/07/2021 at 16:55:31
Dave #49, haha, but you and I are haunted by that at slightly different levels! I still consider it a great night. After all, I was hanging with you. Which was awesome.

Soren #56, that's what he was making at Bournemouth, but he's out of contract. Wanna bet we won't be paying him that much? Try 1/3 of that. More like what we paid Lossl and Olsen.

Robert Tressell
58 Posted 18/07/2021 at 17:15:58
I'm still working on the basis that we surely must have someone like Bailey lined up.

I will cling to that hope until the window closes.

I notice Rennes have bought exciting Ghanaian winger Sulemana. Perhaps this means Doku is on the move.

Barry Hesketh
59 Posted 18/07/2021 at 18:15:45
Paul Joyce has tweeted in the last hour that :

Everton closing in on deals for wingers Demarai Gray (£1.5m from Bayer Leverkusen) and Andros Townsend (free transfer).

Colin @ 55 it looks like the rumour is more likely to be true than not.

Kevin Molloy
60 Posted 18/07/2021 at 18:25:55
can't remember the last time we actually picked up a couple of bargains, but two proven wingers for zero cash virtually is pretty good to me.
Marc Hints
61 Posted 18/07/2021 at 18:29:04
On various websites and twitter now Barry so must be true, not bad signings for 1.5 million
Martin Nicholls
62 Posted 19/07/2021 at 10:26:37
Begovic is probably as good as we're likely to get as backup keeper. As for Townsend and Gray, won't be long before we're trying to offload them as "deadwood" – after all, that's what they are at Palace and Leverkusen respectively.
Jim Harrison
63 Posted 19/07/2021 at 11:45:15
Moshiri seems to think he has spent enough and wants to see some of the players he paid good money for be managed effectively.

A couple of squad players coming in to replace outgoing players and a new right-back is probably all we are looking at.

Kean is back; Gbamin looking to get up to fitness.

Nicholas Ryan
64 Posted 19/07/2021 at 12:25:25
Brian [40]: I think you may be right... it looks as though the purse strings are well and truly closed!

Brian [42]: £500,000 for a new ground... if only; sadly, I think you'll find it's £500,000,000!!

Robert Tressell
65 Posted 19/07/2021 at 13:14:32
The price is good, as you say Kevin. And we are light on forward / wide options. I don't particularly object to Townsend in particular as we need left footers. The issue is getting the pair of them:

- together these guys tie up wages, which can rob us of valuable kitty to deploy on better players

- these guys are not really any better than Iwobi or Bernard, although they may be more physically suited to the Prem than Bernard

- there's no immediate sign of us shifting Iwobi and Bernard, especially the former

- they block the path to the first team for Gordon, albeit he may benefit from a loan. Similar for Nkounkou and Small, both of whom can play these positions - although Small seems to have gone already

- if we do buy Bailey or similar then these two won't play much - which is a very demotivating position to be in. Buying both together means one will hardly ever feature at all. Average demotivated players tend not to be very productive (eg King)

- Palace just got Olise for about £8.5m and presumably low wages. That is the sort of player that can really improve the first team and occupy a first team spot for many years.

- Townsend and Gray don't improve the first team at all and don't really improve the bench either, apart from both being a bit faster than Iwobi. Like I say, I can kind of understand Townsend because he's a left footer at least.

- who other than Everton would sign these players? Norwich? Burnley? WBA? Bournemouth?

Derek Taylor
66 Posted 20/07/2021 at 17:07:39
Why, these days, are there so few transfers between Football League clubs and those in the Premier ? I am sure there are Championship players more accomplished than the likes of those named in this thread - and younger ones, too.

Unlike in simpler times, the so called DoFs seem to be happy to shell out for their pet agents to do the work for them and that breed will only have interest in top league players who will be happy to share their exorbitant pay with them via complex commission deals and service contracts.

The game at top level stinks and deserves to have a clean up. And it can't come too soon.

Andrew Ellams
67 Posted 20/07/2021 at 17:17:06
Derek, I can think of 3 reasons why there are fewer players coming up from the FL into the PL.

Large number of overseas players taking the squad place these players would once have filled

Even Championship players come with the English premium on their price. Why buy a player with no top level experience when you can bring in an international for less.

Fewer quality youngsters start their careers at their local clubs and then get picked up by top clubs. Excuse the RS analogy but there aren't too many Kevin Keegan's coming through at clubs like Sc**thorpe any more because they get scouted in their teens by PL clubs.

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