Phil West says...
I’m somewhat in two minds about the signing of Bishop.
On one hand, I would’ve loved us to have signed a more experienced goalkeeper who could impart his knowledge onto Patterson and provide some stern competition, but such stoppers can often be hard to find and if they’re out there, the chances are that they’d have wage demands to match their reputations.
On the other hand, the fact that Bishop has left Manchester United at this stage of his career tells me that he’s eager to kick on and grab the opportunity he’s been given.
He’s clearly got talent, and I’m interested to see whether he and Patterson can push each other and how it’ll benefit each player. Patterson is our undisputed number one and rightly so, but would Bishop have made the switch if he didn’t think there would be chances for him to stake a claim?
It’s an interesting one, and you’d have to assume that the club sees plenty of potential in him, given his background at Manchester United.
Being able to rotate when needed could be absolutely key this season, and if Bishop can settle in quickly and show what he's got during training sessions, it’ll give Tony Mowbray plenty to think about as he plots a course through the season ahead.
Sean Brown says...
I’m very happy with this signing for a few reasons.
Some of them are quite petty and childish regarding his dispute with dear old Parky, but more than anything, I think the arrival of Bishop will help Patto become the best number one he can be.
As has been said, making the switch from Manchester Utd on such a deal, given Bishop’s age and popularity at his now former club, is a big step that would require guarantees for his development with a clear route into the first team.
I don’t think it’s anything to do with Patterson’s performances or a sign that the hierarchy are in any way concerned, but it’s essential for the club to have options in such a vital role and to have two young lads with such potential challenging one another for the top spot, both on the pitch and behind the scenes.
We have what looks to be some quality youth keepers who’ll now be able to leave on loan with a view to furthering their own development and hoping they can come back and stake their own claims.
All of this is very promising - even if they might not feel it right now - for their future hopes, as we may well have a situation where if Patto is pushed enough, he could start attracting more attention than he already has.
As has been made almost clear with this model, the right price offered, combined with our ability to replace a valuable asset with one of equal value and skill, is how we look to move forward as a club.
Overall, I think this could be a move that pushes our current lads to work, train and focus harder and will with any luck lead to further progression up the pyramid and maybe some handy profits in future transfer windows.
Welcome to the club lad!
Tom Albrighton says...
This isn’t the end of Anthony Patterson, not by a long way yet.
Signing Bishop has been somewhat of a priority in terms of providing some real competition for Patterson and to ensure his development as a top class goalkeeper.
He has more than enough credit in the bank from last season to warrant being our number one until such a time should arrive when he either lacks the form or ability to do so.
The timeframe of Bishop’s contract may get tongues wagging but it’s smart business from the club.
Given Patterson’s exponential rise and bags of talent, having a firm plan and a capable goalkeeper in reserve is shrewd planning, should interest in Patterson increase over the coming season.
As we’ve seen in other areas, it’s a clear desire of our transfer strategy to have two capable players for every position and with no disrespect to Alex Bass, this was an area in which we were lacking.
From Bishop’s perspective, this is a club that has regularly produced and honed top class goalkeepers, so this move seems like a calculated gamble- with or without playing time guarantees.
For now, he’ll have to wait for his chance, whether that’s in cup competitions or a result of injuries, and he’ll need to be ready to take every opportunity that comes his way.
All in all, this seems like a smart move for all parties and a move that the club has clearly been keen to make for some time.
Malc Dugdale says...
I’m quite happy with this signing, and agree with the points made by the other lads in the main. I think the club really rate Anthony but really want to push him to develop to his optimal level for both his benefit and for the club's long term gain.
I’d rather have a young lad with real prospects and capability push Patterson and potentially even pinch his starting berth at times rather than bring in an older head who will take decent wages but will not really have much of a future with us, and may end up getting fed up warming the bench if he gets no time on the grass. The money we spend here on deals and wages may include a fee but the investment is better placed like this for me.
This hire shows we are applying our preference of youth to the keeper position just as much as we are to other areas of the pitch too. That is consistent, and consistency has to be applauded.
I’d argue with the raft of good goalkeeping talent coming from the academy (including our schoolboy age keeper who must have really loved the pre season US trip) we don’t really need senior experience with gloves on, and Patterson and Bishop can learn from the coaches what they need, pushing each other and growing in tandem. If we can have our own version of Shilton versus Clemence as these lads develop as we know they will, I’d be ok with that!
I expect both to play their part on the pitch and off it, and it will be really interesting watching Bishop stake his claim for the starting role. This can only be good for the club and likely for Patterson too, and I hope he takes it that way, I expect he will.
How far we have come from our goalkeeping challenges of the past few years eh? Another breath of fresh air. Nice one SAFC!