TONY PULIS has hailed £3.25 million signing Asmir Begovic as one of the best young goalkeepers in England following his deadline day move to Stoke City.

The 22-year-old Bosnian international completed a move from Premier League rivals Portsmouth shortly before the January transfer window closed on Monday evening.

Begovic signed a four-and-a-half year contract to complete the switch to the Britannia Stadium and gives City's manager more options in the goalkeeping department.

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"Asmir is someone we have been tracking for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young goalkeeper in the country," commented Pulis.

A new goalkeeper had been one of City's priorities in the January transfer window to provide additional cover for Thomas Sorensen and Steve Simonsen.

"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," he added.

Begovic had impressed in Portsmouth's first team recently after being recalled from a loan spell at Ipswich Town when David James picked up a calf injury during the warm up before the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium.

"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 the 'keeper.

"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 right move for me."

He added: "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."

*The Club were awaiting confirmation from the Premier League that the transfer had gone through on Monday evening.

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