Veteran goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has joined Everton on a free transfer from AFC Bournemouth.
The 34-year-old leaves Dean Court for a fourth and final time, having made 122 appearances for the club in all competitions, spanning almost 14 years.
Begovic made his first move to the Cherries in August 2007, signed on loan by former manager Kevin Bond from Portsmouth. That loan spell ended in October 2007 having been dropped for some rather infamous errors as a youngster against Swindon Town and Carlisle United.
Following spells with Yeovil Town, Ipswich Town and Stoke City he joined Chelsea for £8million in July 2015, but just two years later he returned to AFC Bournemouth on a permanent basis almost ten years later since his departure for around £10million from Chelsea.
It’s a fair analysis to describe the following four years as mixed. For a player that cost eight figures and reportedly, if the Daily Star is to be believed, was earning a reported £110,000-a-week wages prior to the club’s relegation. The Cherries might have expected a bit more than one solid enough season in 2017/18, before poor form the following season saw him lose his place in the side to Artur Boruc.
The 2019/20 season saw him go out on loan in Azerbaijan and Italy with Qarabag and AC Milan respectively, having dropped down the pecking order behind both Aaron Ramsdale and Mark Travers.
Following the end of that campaign, the Cherries were relegated from the Premier League and Begovic made a surprise return as the club’s first-choice shot-stopper, following the sale of Aaron Ramsdale to Sheffield United.
To Begovic’s credit, the former Bosnia and Herzegovina international, put in some of his best performances in a Cherries shirt during the first half of the club’s Championship campaign, which ultimately ended with defeat in the Championship play-offs, to Brentford.
The decision to allow Begovic to walk away from the south coast on a free transfer appears to be made from a strong financial viewpoint.
Daily Express reporter Ryan Taylor posted on his Twitter account that Begovic was AFC Bournemouth’s “top earner by a considerable distance (£73,000 a week) so getting him off the bill is huge for them“.
He was on PL wage at Bournemouth. Their top earner by a considerable distance (£73,000 a week) so getting him off the bill is huge for them, particularly in Championship. Suspect he'll have taken a cut to join Everton but he gets two years, only had one left at #AFCB.
— Ryan Taylor (@RyanTaylorSport) July 17, 2021
After the announcement Begovic took to social media to thank the Cherries and the town of Bournemouth for his two spells at Dean Court.
Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at @afcbournemouth and the city of Bournemouth for supporting me over my 2 spells at the football club.
— Asmir Begovic (@asmir1) July 20, 2021
Discussing the move to Everton, Begovic told evertonfc.com…
“When I first heard of the possibility of joining Everton, I was really excited, Opportunities like this don’t come around every day so I’m honoured and pleased to be here…”
“…Jordan [Pickford] is a world-class goalkeeper. I think the goalkeeping group here is fantastic.
“We’re going to push each other every single day and set those standards in training.
“We also have a great goalkeeping coach in Alan Kelly.
“I’m definitely here to compete [for a place] and to try to help this team in any way I can.”
Should AFCB keep Begovic?
Yeah at this stage of his career, more content to get extra years guaranteed income even if it means sitting on the bench most of the time.
As good as he was last year, not financially viable to be paying anyone that really.
Risk getting a replacement of course, but we should still be able to attract someone as good/almost as good for a fraction of the cost. Makes sense overall in my opinion. – Join the conversation, click here.