Sheffield United man addresses future question ahead of contract expiry after honest injury admission

Sheffield United focusing on survival bid rather than player contracts ahead of Liverpool clash
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Ben Osborn admits he is unsure about his Sheffield United future after an honest admission that his fitness situation could influence any decision on whether he remains at Bramall Lane. The former Nottingham Forest man signed a new one-year deal last summer following promotion to the Premier League.

A succession of ill-timed injuries hampered his bid to earn an extension but the misfortune of teammates Rhys Norrington-Davies and Max Lowe, who both suffered season-curtailing injuries in the same game away at Luton Town, has seen him impress at left-wing back in recent weeks as he highlighted his adaptability once more.

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With United seemingly on course for a return to the Championship ahead of a huge summer in the transfer market that boss Chris Wilder has already acknowledged is the biggest in the last decade, Osborn's versatility could provide a valuable option for Wilder next season but much will depend on whether he can remain fit for the remaining nine matches of the campaign, beginning with a tough trip to title-chasing Liverpool on Thursday night.

Speaking after Saturday's 3-3 draw with Fulham at Bramall Lane, Osborn was asked if he was on board for next season and admitted: "I don’t know. My contract’s up, so I’m not thinking that far. I’ve had a lot of injury issues this year, so the thing for me is whether I can stay fit until the end of the season and get a run of games. Then it will be the gaffer’s decision really, and I think a lot of the boys are on board with that."

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Osborn is one of 18 first-team players who could leave in the summer - including United's contingent of loan players and key men approaching the end of their contracts plus Cameron Archer, who will return to Aston Villa if the Blades drop to the Championship - while at least two sales are expected in that eventuality to help balance the drop in income in the second tier.

United showed glimpses against Fulham that they are not dead and buried just yet, going 3-1 ahead before Oli McBurnie saw a second goal that would have made it 4-1 chalked off by VAR for offside. Familiar failings then returned to haunt United as they conceded two goals in the space of seven late minutes, with Rodrigo Muniz's 93rd-minute bicycle kick sealing a point for Fulham and denying United a precious three.

It was the second game in succession that an injury-time goal denied United victory and Osborn admitted: "It’s just so disappointing to not come away with the three points. Once Fulham scored to make it 3-2, they had all the momentum and scored an unbelievable goal to equalise. We were hanging on at the end, so it’s a real tough one to take.

"We know we’ve got a tough week coming up and we did a lot of good things today. Everyone is fighting and doing their best you can see everyone is running themselves into the ground. People are on their knees in the dressing room and it’s just disappointing not to get the three points."

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