Saturday 01 February 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was full of praise for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic after spending £3.25m to sign him from Barclays Premier League rivals Portsmouth.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international signed a four-and-a-year half contract with the Potters and Pulis said: “We believe that potentially he is the best young keeper in the country.
“It was important we brought in another goalkeeper as most clubs in the Premier League have three experienced keepers, but we had managed with just the two for a long time.
“Now Asmir’s arrival will provide the extra cover we need and it will also create good competition for places.”
The 22-year-old had started the season in the Portsmouth side but then spent a month on loan at Championship side Ipswich Town before returning to Fratton Park, where he regained his place until the move.
He said: “I am delighted to be joining Stoke because it is a club moving forward.
“I was aware of interest from one or two clubs, but once I found out that Stoke wanted to sign me, I was convinced that it was the right move for me.
“My time at Portsmouth has been great for my development, but this is an exciting new challenge for me.”
Begovic started as a substitute for the first couple of months of his Stoke career and when he made his debut – it was in inauspicious circumstances. He replaced the injured Thomas Sorensen after Stoke had just gone 2-0 down at Chelsea in a match which they went on to lose 7-0.
However he kept his place for the final three matches of the season and has been first choice ever since – being ever-present in the Premier League during the 2012-13 campaign.
In November 2013, Begovic became only the fifth goalkeeper to score in a Premier League match when he netted the opener from a goalkick in Stoke’s fixture against Southampton after 13 seconds – at the time the fastest strike of the 2013-14 campaign.