Chelsea Academy graduate goalkeeper, Jamal Blackman, has signed a new 4-year-contract with the club and signed for newly promoted Championship side Sheffield United on a season-long loan.
Blackman has been with Chelsea since 2006 and went on his first loan spell in the 2014/15 season, to Middlesbrough, who were in the Championship at the time. He made only one appearance during his time there, which came at Anfield in the League Cup; it was a senior debut Blackman will likely never forget, which saw Liverpool prevail on penalties despite Blackman saving one from Raheem Sterling and scoring one himself! He also spent some time on loan with Swedish side Ostersunds in the 2015-16 season, keeping three clean sheets in twelve appearances. Last season, Blackman completed his first whole season of senior football at Wycombe Wanderers in League Two, where he was undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for the whole season. He greatly impressed while donning the Chairboys’ peculiarly-designed goalkeeper jersey and received lavish praise over the course of the season from his manager, Gareth Ainsworth, who tipped Blackman to play at the highest level some day. The 23-year-old’s efforts at Wycombe have definitely merited his step up to the Championship level with Sheffield United.
Blackman will compete for a starting place with youngster Jake Eastwood, after previously first-choice keeper Simon Moore sustained a potentially serious knee injury in a friendly against Rotherham on Saturday. The Blades’ manager, Chris Wilder, expressed his happiness at finally completing the signing of the goalkeeper, who was revealed to be Wilder’s “number one target” this summer.
"Jamal has been our number one target right the way through the summer. There was a situation with his new contract at Chelsea so we've had to be patient but we are delighted that he is with us now because there were a few clubs in for him. He provides genuine competition in an important area of the pitch."
- Chris Wilder; source: Sheffield United
Good luck to Jamal, hopefully he’ll make the transition to the Championship seamlessly and impress just as he did at Wycombe.