Sheffield United backup goalkeeper Wes Foderingham started between the sticks for the Blades in their Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out loss against Southampton yesterday evening, coming in for Swedish international Robin Olsen.
The 30-year-old, who started the season as third-choice keeper behind Aaron Ramsdale and Michael Verrips, soon found himself in contention for first-team football when the former secured a £30m move to Premier League side Arsenal last month after impressing during the second half of last season.
With the 23-year-old reportedly reiterating his commitment to the club early on in the summer before his European Championships campaign with England and then-new boss Slavisa Jokanovic keen to assess his squad before making any signings, no new keeper was recruited in preparation for his departure and this gave the Serbian 53-year-old the opportunity to see both shot-stoppers in action.
While Verrips notably struggled against West Brom in the Blades’ 4-0 defeat at The Hawthorns last month, Foderingham stepped up well and was in with a great chance of becoming Jokanovic’s keeper between the sticks if they failed to nail down one of their targets, with Willy Caballero, Seny Dieng and Robin Olsen all being linked with a move to Bramall Lane.
In the end, it was the latter who secured a season-long loan move to South Yorkshire from Serie A club AS Roma after spending last season with Everton, pushing Foderingham back in the pecking order.
However, Olsen retaining his starting spot will depend on his performances and he was rested last night as his 30-year-old understudy came into the starting lineup for United’s Carabao Cup tie against Southampton last night.
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They lost on penalties last night after a closely-fought 2-2 draw at the end of the 90 minutes – but the shot-stopper took to Twitter after the game to hail his teammates who went toe-to-toe with a Premier League opposition.
He said: “Disappointing way to go out of the cup on pens. But thought the boys gave everything, very good performance and a lot of positives to take forward. On to the next one.”
What was the verdict from Sheffield United fans on this message and his own performance though? We take a look at a selection of their responses.
Couldn’t of asked for any more from you, brilliant performance⚔️
— Kop.Finest (@KopFinest) September 21, 2021
what a save from you to take it to pens though 👏🏻 brilliant performance tonight deffo staked a claim for saturday
— josh (@JoshBarker1889) September 21, 2021
Our number one in my eyes Wes, keep fighting for that spot ⚔️⚔️
— thomas (@tommyb07) September 22, 2021
Olsen got a fight for that shirt! I mean inner Banksy/Seaman or what 👏👏👏
— Scott Bellamy (@SJB1889) September 21, 2021
You kept us in the game today Wes, hopefully you can get more gametime this season 🖤
— Jake ⚔️ 👺 (@JTurnz) September 21, 2021
You were great tonight 👏🏻⚔️
— Gem Tollerfield (@TheBladette) September 21, 2021
Well played Wes your best performance in red and white today ⚔️👍 very unlucky not to win the game
— Callum (@CallumM12610984) September 21, 2021
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You was unreal tonight mate
— Luke (@SufcLuke_) September 21, 2021