New Lane keeper set for place in derby squad

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SHEFFIELD United have completed the signing of former Arsenal goalkeeper Mark Howard.

As The Star reported last week, Danny Wilson opened talks with the 25-year-old and his representatives following a successful trial period with the League One promotion hopefuls.

Having put pen to paper on a contract lasting two and a half years, Howard could make his first appearance in United’s squad when Wilson’s second-placed side travel to Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

“The lads are playing really well and pushing for promotion so it promises to be a really exciting run-in,” he said.

“I’m really pleased to be joining a club of United’s size and stature.”

Howard, who is expected to provide cover for United’s established number one, Steve Simonsen, recently became a free agent following a short spell with Blackpool.

He made five appearances for the Championship side, including games against Barnsley, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough, before departing Bloomfield Road.

Howard started his career with Arsenal and was an unused substitute during the 2005 Community Shield before pursuing a career north of the border with Aberdeen, St Mirren and Falkirk.

“I know how well Steve is playing and how highly is he is thought of at this club,” Howard added.

“I’m under no illusions about how hard it will be fighting for a place.”