Sheffield United set for goalkeeper boost ahead of visit to Arsenal

Michael Verrips, the Sheffield United goalkeeper, will return to training this week after completing his mandatory concussion protocol.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th January 2020, 5:00 pm

Verrips missed last weekend’s Premier League fixture against West Ham having been diagnosed with the injury following United’s FA Cup win over AFC Fylde, when he was helped from the pitch after colliding with a team mate.

With Simon Moore recovering from the groin complaint he sustained ahead of last month’s visit to Brighton and Hove Albion, United manager Chris Wilder recalled Jake Eastwood back to Bramall Lane for the meeting with David Moyes’ side to provide cover for Dean Henderson.

However, with Verrips set to receive the all-clear and Moore entering the closing stages of his rehabilitation programme, United will arrange another loan for the youngster before this month’s transfer deadline.

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Eastwood had been scheduled to spend the season with League Two club Scunthorpe, where he made nearly 20 appearances before being summoned home.

“Michael should be okay,” Wilder said. “We had no choice but to leave him out and quite right, because the player’s welfare has to come first. It’s the right thing to do.”

“Simon is back out there, on the grass, so he’s coming along nicely,” he added. “He’s not too far away now but we didn’t want to take any risks with him either. Because both of them have got important contributions to make.”

Despite insisting Eastwood had benefited from training with United’s senior squad last term, Wilder explained it is now imperative the 23-year-old Steelphalt Academy graduate continues his development at either English Football League or National Conference level.

“We’ve seen how much Jake has come on since he’s been playing proper men’s football if you like,” Wilder said. “It’s brought him on leaps and bounds, not only as a player but as a professional too. There’s no substitute for it.”