Begovic delighted with Stoke switch

New Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has expressed his joy at completing his move to the Britannia Stadium before yesterday's transfer deadline.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had initially looked into signing Begovic's former Portsmouth team-mate David James on loan until the end of the season, but when that deal broke down he succeeded with a £3.25million bid for the 22-year-old Bosnia international.

Begovic has already played for two clubs this season, having played for Ipswich on loan before a run in the Pompey first team, but Stoke are confident the issue will not be a problem.

"It has been an eventful time for me, one way or another, but I am delighted to be joining Stoke because it is a club moving forward," said Begovic, who has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal.

"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 to push on in my career."

Potters boss Tony Pulis, whose side fought out a goalless draw at Sunderland last night, said: "Asmir is someone we have been tracking for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young goalkeeper in the country.

"It was important we brought in another goalkeeper because we were a bit exposed in that department. 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."

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