Johnson Says Gerken Could`ve Been A Hammer
Dean Gerken`s new manager at Bristol City, Gary Johnson, has revealed the goalie nearly signed for West Ham in 2008.
The Premier League club were reportedly ready to buy the shot-stopper a year ago, as cover for ex-Norwich City goalie, Robert Green. In summertime 2007, Reading were also linked with the player following his fine first-season showing in Colchester`s maiden Championship campaign.
Johnson said Gerken was "unlucky" as he narrowly missed out on a "dream move" to Upton Park but was clearly delighted to have secured his services from Colchester yesterday.
"Dean`s very highly thought of in the game," said Johnson, on Bristol City`s official website. "I like his enthusiasm. He`s already played two seasons at this level for Colchester and he`s determined to get another shot at it."
Gerken, who was first watched by the England set-up at aged 18 in 2003, has previously been tipped as a future England international, by ex-U`s player coach and Northern Ireland goalie, Aidan Davison.
He shone with great form in late 2006, winning the club's young player of the year award and No. 1 shirt that season, but suffered a crisis of confidece playing behind a weak Colchester defence in 2007-8 as the club suffered relegation.
Also speaking yesterday evening on his new team`s official website, Gerken seemed relieved to have sorted his future, which had been in doubt with Colchester since last season`s loan move to Darlington.
Charlton last week denied they wanted to sign the player, who appeared 119 times for the Essex side, as speculation mounted about his next destination. Read the article here.
"It`s been a whirlwind move for me, taking just three or four days," said 24-year-old Gerken, on Bristol`s official site.
"I`m over the moon with the move. I thank the Colchester supporters for backing me during my time there, and the club."
Gerken`s replacement in North Essex looks to be former Manchester United trianee, Ben Williams, although the U`s had also been keen a permanent move for ex-Hammer and free agent, Jimmmy Walker.
Will Dean Gerken one readapt to Championship life?
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