Premier League side Aston Villa are targeting a move for Sheffield United loanee Robin Olsen after missing out on West Ham United’s Darren Randolph, according to talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook.
The Swedish international is currently plying his trade with the Blades on a season-long loan deal from AS Roma after being deemed surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho’s men – and instantly became one of the first names on the teamsheet under ex-boss Slavisa Jokanovic.
But following a rib injury he sustained on international duty with Sweden, he was forced to take his place on the sidelines with Wes Foderingham coming in to take the number one spot for the time being.
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Despite only previously being seen as Olsen’s understudy, doing enough to stay above Michael Verrips in the pecking order earlier in the season after some respectable performances following Aaron Ramsdale’s exit, the ex-Rangers man has retained the jersey with some fine displays.
This could leave Olsen out in the cold in South Yorkshire for the foreseeable future, though new manager Paul Heckingbottom was quick to pour cold water on the possibility of the 32-year-old ending his loan spell early in the second tier.
However, this hasn’t stopped Steven Gerrard’s men reportedly pursuing him, with talkSPORT journalist Crook believing that the top-flight outfit are now focusing their energy into concluding a deal for the shot-stopper.
His last appearance for the Blades came in early November against Blackburn, although it’s currently unclear as to whether Heckingbottom’s men would be willing to let him go with Verrips making a move to Fortuna Sittard yesterday afternoon.
Foderingham looks set to have retained the first-choice spot for the foreseeable future and with the Blades likely to be paying a portion of his potentially hefty wage, it would probably make sense for the 32-year-old to depart now.
That may mean the Blades are required to bring one or two new keepers in – but Heckingbottom should receive the necessary backing to make that happen after seeing the club spend nothing on transfer fees during the summer window.
A rebuild in this department may be seen as something of a risk midway through the season, especially chasing a promotion spot as they look to get back to the top tier at the first time of asking, but Foderingham’s solidity should give the hierarchy the confidence for this movement to happen.
For Olsen, a move away would also be the best possible move and although he’s unlikely to displace Emiliano Martinez at this stage, he would probably force his way into the squad ahead of Jed Steer.
That may mean he still sits on the bench, but he would much rather be in the Premier League than the Championship right now and Villa’s reported pursuit of him gives him the chance to make this much-needed exit.