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Oct 11, 2012

Foster: Yacob shows Ashworth value

West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster believes team-mate Claudio Yacob is the perfect example as to why the club will feel the impact of losing Dan Ashworth to the Football Association next season.

Albion sporting and technical director Ashworth's pursuit of Yacob, 25, included climbing over a fence to watch the player train with his former side Racing Club, before he signed on a free transfer to the Hawthorns this summer.

The Argentina international is the latest in a long line of unheralded talent unearthed by Ashworth, who will end his eight-year spell with the club in May to take up a high-profile development role with the FA at their new St George's Park headquarters.

Yacob has adapted to Premier League demands while also proving to be Albion's stand-out performer so far this season and Foster, 29, is grateful for Ashworth's role in the move.

"Claudio's a huge addition to the team and it's amazing to get someone in like him, but he's just one of a few gems we've found," Foster said.

"It's a huge opportunity for Dan and he's deserved this chance. He's shown in the work he's done for us how capable he is."

Yacob has gone from unknown to one of the most feted players in the Albion squad and Foster is still amazed at the way he has adapted to life at his new club.

"He's amazing but I must admit I'd never heard of the bloke. I'm not disrespecting him but I didn't know anything about him," Foster said.

"I'm not the biggest football fan in the world anyway but he's not someone I'd come across before and yet he came into training on the first day and he's exactly like he is now.

"He doesn't say a word, he comes in and just opens up and smashes everyone in training. He's a little livewire. He's that guy in front of you that if they break on us, and we look like we might be a bit exposed, he'll be the one getting the tackles or blocks in.

"It's great when you have someone like that - it's dependability really. He's our Mr Reliable. You know you can count on him at any given time - that's how he's started the season and how he's continued.

"Claudio's passing is brilliant. He's fantastic to have and he's got a bit of South American temperament about him - he's certainly not afraid to put his boot in. He's full-blooded, even in training."

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