By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

17th Sep, 2022 | 8:10am

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Asmir Begovic is a “sound goalkeeper” and a “capable” back up for the injured Jordan Pickford says Kevin Campbell, who is glad that Everton rejected Manchester United’s attempts to sign him in the summer.

The Red Devils were after the Bosnia and Herzegovina international during the transfer window as they sought back-up for David De Gea, but the Toffees blocked his exit [talkSPORT 26 August] and have now been proven right to do so with star man Pickford out this weekend.

Sky Sports pundit Campbell is pleased that the club have a solid back-up option who is not inclined to do anything “flamboyant”, and has praised Everton for picking him up at the start of last season as well as ensuring they kept hold of him this summer by activating his second-year option and spurning advances from Old Trafford.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “He is capable [backup]. He’s got a world of experience, a raft of it, and he’s somebody Everton can rely on. 

“He won’t let anybody down and he’s one of these goalkeepers who goes in there and he’s safe. 

“He’s not spectacular. He doesn’t do crazy things, but he’s just solid. 

“And as a number two, that’s what you need. You don’t need them flamboyant and rushing out, a rush of blood to the head. He will make the defence comfortable in front of him.  

“I think it’s a good move [hanging onto him], and well done Everton for getting him in.

“Good player, sound goalkeeper, very experienced.”

The match postponements in the wake of the Queen’s death almost preventing Pickford from needing to miss any action, which considering his starring role in the Merseyside derby draw with Liverpool would have been a boost.

But since he will not be available for Sunday’s visit of West Ham (18 September) the blow is significantly softened by the presence of a stand-in with extensive Premier League experience and a title-winner’s medal from his time at Chelsea.

With the financial situation tight at Goodison Park it might have been tempting to squeeze whatever they could out of United for their back-up keeper, but the position is one that can go from afterthought to vital in a moment as happened here, so the right decision was ultimately made.