Wanderers have normally in my time been blesses with good keepers: Jussi was one of the best Premier League goalkeepers of all time, Adam Bogdan was a decent keeper for our level and even at the moment we have two keepers with fairly unspectacular pasts playing out of their skin for us.
A glance towards the junior ranks shows this trend is far from over. We currently have to very talented keepers on the books in England under 18 international, Jake Turner and Finland under 19 international, William Jaaskelainen.
Jake Turner, 17 is the younger of the two but is already showing his potential to be a top keeper. He received his first England under 18 call up this year and kept a clean sheet in his first game against France. Pundits called his performances 'impressive' and this hasn't gone unnoticed. Not only has Phil Parkinson called Turner up to deputise in the wake of the injury to senior keeper, Mark Howard, he is also attracting interest from other teams. Reports have recently surfaced that Everton are monitoring him with a view to make him Maarten Stekelenburg's understudy. The report stated that Everton not only wanted to exploit family ties with the club but also get him at a cut price deal as he isn't on a professional deal here. This is apparently due to the embargo which is stopping us from offering new professional deals. This is incredibly frustrating given that any England youth international automatically gets a value of upwards of six figures.
Will Jaaskelainen is slightly older at 18. Despite being born in England, Will has decided to follow in his fathers footsteps and represent Finland. He has been at Wanderers academy since he was a small child and also enjoyed the benefit of one of the Premier Leagues greatest ever keepers as a mentor and father. Will has also attracted the interest of clubs in loftier positions than us in recent years. When he first started playing for the under 18's at the age of 15 (a sign of his undoubted talent) he reportedly attracted interest from 'big clubs'. He has shown no signs of slowing in his development staring in a recent cup game against Preston North End. Will saved 3, count that, 3 penalties during the shootout and received plaudits all around. There was a question why Turner had made the bench over Jaaskelainen but a report from Alan Nixon stated it was due to issues with the embargo which meant that Jaaskelainen couldn't be named in a match-day squad.
Both have undoubted talent but alas the issue with goalkeepers is only one, if either will be successful. We have two good inform keepers at the moment but looking at both their respective histories, are unlikely to be of a level to push onward's if we go up a league and want to challenge for promotion again. The pedigree of both at this age shows one of them might have the potential to be that keeper to take up the mantle. Which one will it be? Well to be a chicken, I don't know; but will be great to see two truly decent potential talents push each other all the way.
I will finish with a little note to Turner in light of the recent interest. Youth gets a chance at this club and when was the last time Everton brought through a young keeper rather than buying a ready made player? I don't begrudge our young players big moves. Rob Holding to Arsenal shows how it can work for all parties, but be weary of the clubs that swallow English talent whole for 1 or 2 to make the cut.