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Benitez’s first Everton signing will be backup goalkeeper

Veteran Asmir Begovic is set to be Jordan Pickford’s backup

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-BOURNEMOUTH Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

As is being widely reported this morning by multiple media sources, veteran goalkeeper Asmir Begovic looks set to become new manager Rafa Benitez’s first signing for Everton.

Begovic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina while still a part of Yugoslavia but moved to Germany at the age of four where he was raised and is fluent in Bosnian, English, German and French. His family moved to Edmonton in Canada when he was ten, and while in high school was able to get a trial in England with Portsmouth where he started his footballing career.

Since then he’s made multiple loan stops, but it was at Stoke City and then Chelsea in the last decade that he made his name as a reliable shotstopper. Most recently he signed a five year contract with AFC Bournemouth from where he has also been loaned out FC Qarabag and AC Milan, before playing in the Championship last season.

Apparently he completed his medicals on Merseyside today and the Cherries have been convinced to nullify his current contract with a year left on it so the Blues can sign him up on a free transfer. The towering 34-year-old will be signing a two-year deal to backup starter and England hero Jordan Pickford after the return of Robin Olsen to parent club AS Roma at the end of last season.

With over 60 international caps and 250+ starts in the Premier League, Begovic will likely come in at a reasonable wage and there’s no better transfer than a free transfer, much like Everton managed last season with James Rodriguez. The Bosnian represents decent value for the Toffees as they attempt to retool the side with limited funds and almost no takers for the deadweight still on the squad.

Everton have previously been linked with Begovic at the end of the 2015-16 season as well when Tim Howard departed.