Double boost for Baggies

  • Last Updated: July 22 2014, 15:17 BST

New West Brom head coach Alan Irvine has been given a double boost ahead of the new Barclays Premier League campaign.

Alan Irvine is unveiled as the new West Browich Head Coach
Alan Irvine is unveiled as the new West Browich Head Coach

Goalkeeper Ben Foster has pledged his future to the Baggies with the signing of a new long-term contract, whilst Irvine has strengthened his defence with the capture of Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom.

Foster, in particular, provides a huge tonic for Irvine, with the 31-year-old putting pen to paper on a four-year deal, with the option for a further season, potentially taking him through to 2019.

Foster joined Albion in 2011, initially on loan from near neighbours Birmingham for a season before completing a £6million move in 2012.

For the second time in his three-year stint with the club, Foster collected the players' and supporters' player-of-the-year award at the end of last term, underlining his value to the club.

As far as Foster was concerned, the decision to stay at The Hawthorns was a no-brainer as he said: "When I signed here permanently, I said this is the sort of club I could see myself finishing my career at.

"And that's exactly how I felt when the club said they wanted to negotiate a new contract.

"It was something I wanted to get sorted as soon as possible. I'm very happy here. It was a very obvious and easy decision for me and my family."

That decision comes on the back of Foster becoming the first Albion player to represent England at the World Cup in 44 years, keeping a clean sheet in the goalless draw with Costa Rica.

A delighted Irvine said: "This is fantastic news for everyone connected with the club as Ben's an extremely important player for us - both on and off the pitch.

"He's a great personality, a great character and leads by example.

"This is a magnificent signing for the club. Ben is one of the best keepers in the country, which he showed when he played really well for England against Costa Rica at the World Cup.

"Ben is extremely professional, which is infectious in training, as he demands high standards of himself and others."

Wisdom, meanwhile, has become Albion's sixth signing of the summer thanks to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers singing the defender's praises.

England Under-21 international Wisdom, who can play at right back or centre back, has joined Irvine's side on a season-long loan from Anfield.

Wisdom scored on his Liverpool debut in a 5-3 Europa League victory over Swiss side Young Boys in September 2012, going on to make a further 18 appearances that season.

Following a further three appearances at the start of last term, the 21-year-old then joined Derby on loan for the season, starting 38 games, including the Championship play-off final defeat to QPR.

Going on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' word, Irvine said: "I've spoken to Brendan, who I've known for a very long time and who I trust implicitly.

"He said Andre would do a good job for us. That was reassuring.

"You can see the player, but you want to find out what they are like as a person. Brendan spoke very, very highly about him."