Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Return of Ricky Foster?

One of the more confusing transfer deals of last summer was Ricky Foster's loan move from Aberdeen to Rangers, with perma-crocked striker Andrius Velicka heading in the opposite direction. While Velicka was largely a disappointment at Aberdeen, failing to get a run in the side and scoring just one goal before his release in January, Foster has performed generally well at Rangers, earning plaudits for his Champions League displays against Manchester United and Valencia.

You would have thought that Aberdeen fans would be delighted at the potential return of a defender with experience at the very highest level. Sadly many cannot see past the rivalry between Rangers and the Dons, with Foster earning the ire of some after comments such as 'Ibrox is the best stadium that I have ever played at' and 'I feel at home at Rangers'. Football fans are notoriously reactionary and it is perhaps not surprising that many would greet Foster's return with flaming torches rather than banners, but you might expect a little more realism from supporters of a team who until January were without a single natural full back. Whatever Foster's limitations he is certainly a more capable full back than Rory McArdle and is not as prone to falling apart as David McNamee seems to be. Wherever Foster's loyalties ultimately lie, as long as he puts in 100% for the Dons it would be foolish to condemn him - his return would see the Dons squad strengthened with McNamee and Smith potentially leaving in the summer.

Foster himself seems pragmatic about the situation, conceding today that as things stood he would be a Dons player next season and that he was looked forward to working with Craig Brown and Archie Knox. These could merely be the words of a professional trying his best not to burn potential bridges, but Foster is under contract until 2013 and would command a decent enough transfer fee if he was to decide to move on.

Despite the Foster/Velicka swap largely proving disastrous this season, at the very least it will add an extra zero to his future transfer fee, and could potentially see the Dons possessing a far more experienced and accomplished player next season, working under an undoubtedly superior management team. In my mind the omens seem to be pretty good for Aberdeen.

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