Championship side Sheffield United are closing in on a season-long loan move for AS Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
The Blades have been on the prowl for a replacement for Aaron Ramsdale ever since the England international joined Arsenal in a £30m deal this summer, despite manager Slavisa Jokanovic handing opportunities to Wes Foderingham and Michael Verrips to stake their claim for a first-team spot.
Although the former hasn’t put a foot wrong, Verrips struggled against West Bromwich Albion in their 4-0 Championship defeat just under a fortnight ago and the Sheffield United manager made it crystal clear that the board had to reinvest in a replacement for 23-year-old Ramsdale.
Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng emerged as one potential replacement, although Mark Warburton is known to be keen on keeping the Senegalese international after making his breakthrough at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium last season.
Shot-stopper Dieng signed a new deal last September to keep him at the club until 2024 and with that, the Blades were in danger of being priced out of a move for him.
39-year-old Willy Caballero, who has spent the last seven years in England with Manchester City and Chelsea, was also said to be one of the South Yorkshire side’s targets, though they faced competition from Scottish Premiership champions Rangers for his signature according to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella.
However, it now looks like Swedish international Robin Olsen will be the man to fill the shoes of Aaron Ramsdale, despite reportedly being sceptical about a potential move to Bramall Lane at first.
After being loaned out to Everton last term, previously competing for a first-team spot with Jordan Pickford, the 31-year-old looks set to be Slavisa Jokanovic’s first-choice between the sticks.
Even though it might be disheartening for Blades fans to see Sheffield United not invest in a permanent deal after Aaron Ramsdale’s departure to Arsenal for an eight-figure fee, they are likely to be excited by Robin Olsen’s international pedigree after seeing him perform on the biggest stage, taking Sweden to the World Cup quarter-final three years ago.
There may be reservations over his lack of first-team football at AS Roma and previous loan club Everton – but the same could have also been said about fellow target Willy Caballero – and Olsen’s quality in isolation could be enough to ease fans’ nerves who may have picked that out as a potential drawback of this deal.
He also won’t get time over the international break to settle in at Bramall Lane, with the 31-year-old expected to link up with Sweden for their World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Greece.
But the Blades will just be relieved to finally get a goalkeeper over the line though after a slow start to the summer – and with Conor Hourihane arriving yesterday and Olsen and Adlene Guedioura all reported to be closing in on moves to South Yorkshire – it will only help to boost their morale.
This morale boost is much-needed after a poor start to their campaign – and he will be hoping to keep as many clean sheets as possible as United aim to climb their way up the second-tier table.