Edwin van der Sar still Manchester United's No 1, says Peter Schmeichel

Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel claims Ben Foster faces a return to the bench at Old Trafford as soon as Edwin van der Sar overcomes the thumb injury that has sidelined him since pre-season.

England keeper Foster, 26, is under the spotlight after an unconvincing display during United's 4-3 victory against Manchester City on Sunday.

The former Stoke and Watford keeper was at fault for Gareth Barry's opener for City and some critics have also questioned his positioning for Craig Bellamy's 90th minute equaliser.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also unusually publicly criticised Foster for his failure to keep out Andrey Arshavin's long-range strike during the 2-1 win against Arsenal last month.

With Dutch veteran Van der Sar set to be out for another month, Ferguson has given Foster the nod ahead of Polish stopper Tomasz Kuszczak so far this season.

But Old Trafford legend Schmeichel, who won every major honour bar the Uefa Cup during his eight-year stint at United in the 1990s, believes that Ferguson will recall Van der Sar as soon as the 38-year-old returns to full fitness.

Speaking to United Review, Schmeichel said: "Ben Foster has done well this season and he certainly looks to be a very good goalkeeper.

"He's getting a run of games now, but I'm sure Edwin will be back in when he's fit because the manager knows he's the right guy for the team at the moment.

"I think Edwin can keep playing for a few more years yet. He's fit, he's strong and he's motivated.

"I think he wants more silverware and, when you want more, you can go on. I was offered another year before I retired at 40 and, physically, I was pretty sure I could have done it, but I just didn't want to.

"Physically, it shouldn't be a problem for Edwin to carry on and if he wants to, then I'm sure he'll take that opportunity."

United have been linked with Schalke goalkeeper Marcus Neuer and CSKA Moscow's Igor Akinfeev this season. Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes has also emerged as a possible target.

Ferguson is set to hand Kuszczak his first start of the season on Wednesday, however, when United begin their defence of the Carling Cup against Wolves at Old Trafford.

And despite his recent poor form, Foster is unlikely to lose his place for Saturday's Premier League clash with former club Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

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