Out of contract Sheffield United man to undergo medical with boyhood club

Versatile midfielder Ben Osborn is having a medical at his boyhood club Derby County on Thursday. The 29-year-old has already agreed terms with the newly promoted Championship outfit and will officially leave Sheffield United at the end of the week, per Football Insider.

The Blades had initially wanted to keep Osborn in the squad, with Chris Wilder being a fan of the Championship veteran, and the player himself publicly stating he wants to remain at Bramall Lane. Nevertheless, he has now decided to move on after contract extension talks were stalled due to the takeover.

Ben Osborn has been forced to play on the left side of the defence due to Sheffield United’s lack of depth in that position.

Ben Osborn set to sign for Derby County

For the Blades this will be a slight blow, but not a major one. Osborn has a plethora of experience having made over 350 appearances in the Championship and Premier League combined. Also, he provides a bit more cover for the team because he can cover multiple positions.

Given United have many positions to fill this summer, it does seem slightly strange that the club didn’t activate his 12 month extension in the first place.

Derby County meanwhile have added a consistent and experienced Championship player to their squad. Rams manager Paul Warne loves players that are prepared to do the hard yards and Osborn is just that. Despite lacking in technical ability he makes up for that in endurance and tactical flexibility.

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 07: Ephron Mason-Clark of Peterborough United (R) and Jamie Shackleton of Leeds United battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Peterborough United and Leeds United at Weston Homes Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Peterborough, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Sheffield United wheeling and dealing: Osborn out, Shackleton in

Perhaps this is why Sheffield United are indeed preparing for the arrival of former Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton.

Shackleton, the 24-year-old, is described by Leeds fans almost the exact same way Blades supporters describe Ben Osborn: A hard-working midfielder who has the ability to cover a variety of positions.

While some fans may moan about the lack of finesse from these sort of players, these days it is vital for Championship teams to have at least one player in the squad that can cover for two or three roles.

Despite Shackleton being right footed, he has still filled in down the left side in his career. Meanwhile, last season for Leeds United, and during his loan spell at Millwall in the 2022/23 campaign, he played at right-wingback and at right-back.

As touched on in a recent piece, last season Shackleton didn’t really excel in passing metrics, but he makes up for that with his high energy and the ability to carry the ball forward over long distances.

Although, he is a natural midfielder it could be a case that Chris Wilder is signing him with the vision of him being cover for Jayden Bogle at right-wingback. This could allow youngster Sam Curtis to go out on loan lower down in the EFL.

Tags Ben Osborn Jamie Shackleton