Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has no fears about letting Aaron Ramsdale deputise for Simon Moore.
Despite being capped by England at youth level, Ramsdale has yet to make his professional debut after graduating from the Steelphalt Academy earlier this year.
Although Moore has established himself as United’s first choice goalkeeper since arriving from Cardiff City last month, George Long’s decision to “explore his options” has seen Ramsdale named on the bench in recent weeks.
Having been impressed by the youngster’s performances during training and in the Professional Development League, Wilder said: “The goalkeeping department is well stocked. There has to be competition in there and Rammers is on the bench. If anything happens to Simon, then he’ll go in.”
Ramsdale’s rise to prominence has seemingly shunted Long closer to the exit door at Bramall Lane with the 22-year-old featuring only twice on the bench after being dropped following August’s 3-0 home defeat by Southend. But Wilder, whose side will enter Saturday’s game against Scunthorpe searching for its fifth win in as many League One games, has insisted Long could still earn a recall.
Asked if Ramsdale’s position as United’s second-choice goalkeeper is secure, he replied: “He has to perform in training and in matches to keep that spot. He’s impressed us and he has to keep doing that. Knowing his attitude, I’m sure he will.”
Meanwhile, United are continuing to monitor the fitness of Leon Clarke and Caolan Lavery ahead of the visit to Glanford Park. Clarke missed last weekend’s victory over Peterborough after being ordered to rest a troublesome ankle injury while Lavery sustained a knock during Monday’s under-23 fixture at Queens Park Rangers.
Lavery, the former Sheffield Wednesday centre-forward, scored a first-half penalty at the Imperial College sportsground but was substituted just before the interval.
Wilder recently revealed how Lavery completed a mini pre-season fitness programme before making his United debut as a late substitute against Grant McCann’s side.