Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2013, it was announced today.
It is a welcome boost for the 26-year-old, whose career has been hampered by injury.
He missed the end of last season after needing surgery on a ruptured ligament in his right thumb.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We are delighted that Ben has signed a new four-year deal.
"Ben is seen as one of the best young goalkeepers in England and we genuinely see him as a successor to Edwin Van der Sar"
Foster was forced to miss the title run-in and the Champions League final defeat by Barcelona because of his injury. He also sat out England's World Cup qualifiers in June.
He remains determined to claim the number one spot when Van der Sar decides to retire but knows he faces stiff competition from Polish shot-stopper Tomasz Kuszczak.
Foster said: "I'm really happy to commit my future to the club.
The spirit here is fantastic and working along side Edwin and Tomasz has been a great influence."