Why Sheffield United must offload unwanted goalkeeper Jake Eastwood
The Blades shot-stopper spent half of last season on loan with League Two outfit Scunthorpe United, making 11 league appearances for them.
However, he was soon recalled by Sheffield United in January following injuries to fellow goalkeepers Simon Moore and Michael Verrips. The Blades academy graduate kept six clean sheets during his loan spell with Scunthorpe, giving a fair glimpse of his talent.
Eastwood, meanwhile, has spent a major share of his time at Bramall Lane on the sidelines and has also had a loan spell with Chesterfield FC during the 2017-18 season. He has rarely featured for Chris Wilder’s first-team and has played only a mere three times for them so far.
First-team opportunities will be rare for Eastwood at Sheffield
Sheffield recently signed Wes Foderingham on a three-year deal after the goalkeeper left Scottish giants Rangers.
Sheffield currently have Moore, Verrips, and newcomer Foderingham apart from Eastwood in their ranks. Moreover, Eastwood’s contract with the side is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning he would be a free agent this summer.
The Blades also have a concern regarding main goalkeeper Dean Henderson, with the Manchester United keeper’s loan deal also set to expire when the season ends. He is expected to return to his parent club and his future at Bramall Lane still remains uncertain as of now.
With the more experienced Moore and Foderingham already in the side, opportunities will be rare for the 23-year-old Eastwood. Moreover, his inability to break into the first-team setup despite being an academy graduate gives the impression that he is clearly not one of Wilder’s favourites within the side.
Also, Verrips just arrived last summer and would be given an opportunity to prove himself in the coming days, putting Eastwood’s starting contention in even more jeopardy.
That said, it would be wise of the Blades to let go of their unwanted man, especially given the interest from a side like Wanderers. Thus, it could prove to be a win-win situation for both parties if they allow Eastwood to leave the side as it will also enable him to get regular game time under his belt.
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Sheffield United currently have as many as three goalkeepers in the side apart from Eastwood. As long as Henderson remains the side’s first-choice keeper, it is hugely unlikely that Eastwood would be given more opportunities in the future. Also, with Eastwood’s contract set to expire, it would be best that they sell him and use that money elsewhere.