Aaron Ramsdale’s exit leaves Sheffield United with £20m dilemma

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on his way to Arsenal. Picture: PASheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on his way to Arsenal. Picture: PA
Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on his way to Arsenal. Picture: PA
Wes Foderingham will be given the chance to show Slavisa Jokanovic that Sheffield United do not need to spend any of their £20m windfall on a first-choice goalkeeper as the audition to replace Aaron Ramsdale continues.

Ramsdale last night completed a move to Arsenal for a reported initial £24m, potentially rising to £30m. Previous club Bournemouth are thought to be due 15 per cent but the rest will go into Jokanovic’s transfer budget unlike, it seems, the money today’s opponents Huddersfield Town received for Juninho Bacuna.

Michael Verrips played in Ramdale’s absence on Wednesday but had a terrible evening in a 4-0 defeat. Foderingham will play at home to Huddersfield this afternoon, but Jokanovic says Verrips will be back in midweek, before Foderingham faces Luton Town seven days from now.

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“I had conversations with both goalkeepers 10 days ago or something like that,” he revealed. “I explained my first preference is Aaron and we will see what happens and what is best if he leaves.

“Wes will be in goal this game, Mike for the cup (at home to Derby County in the League Cup) and Wes for the Luton game. I will give both two games and evaluate.

“We need to look around and see if we can find a different solution but at the moment these are my two best goalkeepers.

“We have prepared in case Ramsdale goes. Now it’s definite, we will take a decision in a few days about the best solution.

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“We will check if we need a first-choice keeper but I don’t want my keepers to think I don’t trust them.”

Wednesday was Verrips’s league debut for the Blades, as today will be for Foderingham.

Jokanovic, who was warned about the possible departure of Ramsdale and Sander Berge before taking the job, says he is still targeting four further signings on top of Ben Davies, who could make his debut today after joining on loan from Liverpool. Having refused to do so on Monday, he has now confirmed his interest in loaning Manchester United winger Amad Diallo.

The Terriers have also moved on a player they expected to, but Bacuna’s transfer fee is unlikely to be reinvested.

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“I don’t think so,” said coach Carlos Corberan. “I don’t think the situation changes a lot, knowing from the beginning Bacuna was going to move.

“We continue watching and analysing the options we have in the market.

“Right now the team has an unbelievable line of defenders because in every position we have two alternatives. In midfield having Hoggy (Jonathan Hogg) and (Alex) Vallejo we have two options and the back line is fixed and ready to compete.”

Corberan thinks his counterpart needs time after the Blades resumed Championship life with two defeats and a draw.

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“For a team that got promoted from League One with three centre-backs, had two years in the Championship with three centre-backs and two in the Premier League, it’s going to be a little change for them because the normal shape of Jokanovic is to play with a four,” he argued.

“When you are new to a club and you don’t have a (proper) pre-season, you need time to work.”

The Blades are suffering some of the problems Huddersfield did after relegation from the Premier League two years ago and Jokanovic says they must “clean their minds”.

“We must accept where we are,” he said. “This team played two years of Premier League football and it’s a different style of the game, a different stage. We cannot be arrogant. For us it’s a new start.

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“It’s a team who needs some kind of reset and a different mentality to know where we are. These last few games have shown that at every level you must how humility and hard work and not ignore the small things you need to be successful.”

Scans have given Huddersfield’s Matty Pearson and Danny Ward the all-clear after the former complained of dizziness warming up for Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Preston North End, the latter heart palpitations during the first half. Sheffield United have not reported any fresh concerns.

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