Arsenal’s Ben Sheaf has spent a little over a month with loan club Doncaster Rovers, so we caught up with the people over at fan website Into The Empty Net to find out how he’s doing.
21-year-old Sheaf has already made four competitive appearances for Doncaster, most recently providing an assist in a win over Fleetwood Town. Adam Stubbings of Into The Empty Net gave us his thoughts on how things are going so far:
“Ben Sheaf has become an immediate first-team presence at Doncaster Rovers since signing on loan this summer, playing 90 minutes in every league game to date.
“He nailed down a place in our holding midfield with some impressive pre-season performances that marked out his composure on the ball and ability to pick a pass, and I had him as the stand-out player for Rovers in two of the three friendly matches I attended, including against Championship side Huddersfield.
“Sheaf had a solid debut in our 1-1 home draw with Gillingham, playing alongside captain Ben Whiteman in midfield. He slotted in to our possession-based play seamlessly and tried to create opportunities where he could, but showed a few nervous moments on the ball taking too long to find teammates and being dispossessed. Overall it was a decent start to the season for him.
“At Rochdale the following week he was forced to play as a central defender due to an injury suffered by Alex Baptiste in the first half, and was an able deputy there shoring up the back-line and sticking to the basics well.
“Back in a familiar midfield role against Fleetwood on Saturday, Sheaf was credited with the assist for our first goal in a 3-2 victory, overlapping down the left flank and putting in a low cross which was eventually turned in by Cameron John.
“However, Sheaf struggled in his general play, conceded possession far too often and earned a yellow card for a cynical foul after being tackled and finding himself unable to win the ball back fairly.
“It was an overall poor performance from him but he clearly has ability and has done more good than bad in his outings so far, displaying the hallmarks of a technically strong but mentally naïve young player as is perhaps to be expected from someone with his experience level.”