Pundit Noel Whelan has hailed Everton for their ‘smart’ business early on in the summer window, following the news that the Blues are set to sign Asmir Begovic for free.

Everton are closing in on a deal to sign the experienced goalkeeper as a back-up option to Jordan Pickford, according to a Tweet from transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

The 34-year-old is in the final year of his current deal with Bournemouth, but the Dorset-based side are ready to release the shot-stopper prematurely. In order to get his wages off their books.

According to the Italian transfer expert Romano, a deal for the Cherries’ man is a ‘done deal’ and will be confirmed imminently, with Begovic signing a deal until June 2023.

Consequentially, Whelan feels that Everton have brought in a reinforcement intelligently in a key area, with Romano indicating that home-grown wingers Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray are set to follow.

Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan declared:

“To get a player of that quality, who has a wealth of Premier League experience on a free is an absolute no-brainer for me.

“Pickford is your number one and he always will be but to have that quality a backup is just brilliant.

“He is a goalkeeper you can trust and a goalkeeper who can push Pickford in training. His experience will benefit Pickford.

“When you look at the benches of the other top clubs and they have good, experienced keepers. Begovic is just a fantastic signing on a free.”

Begovic boasts plentiful Premier League experience, with the former Canada youth international having played for the likes of Portsmouth, Stoke City and Chelsea in the English top-flight along with Bournemouth.

Begovic is a Premier League winner, having picked up a medal earned during his brief spell with Chelsea.

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Pickford has shrugged off his critics and enjoyed a remarkable upturn in from for some time, despite being the subject of intense scrutiny.

Having Robin Olsen to challenge him last season was a part of that notable surge in reliability, and Benitez will be hoping Begovic can have a similar impact.

Experienced, free and able to fill a notable gap in the squad, Everton have indeed pulled off a ‘no-brainer’ – even if there is little doubt as to who will be Everton’s first-choice ‘keeper at the start of the season.