“I was completely down in the pits” is how Michael Verrips describes his time at Sheffield United.
Verrips joined the Blades from KV Mechelen on a free transfer in August 2019 ahead of the club’s first season in the Premier League in 12 years.
It was after the goalkeeper cancelled his contract with the Belgian club. It was after they were eliminated from the Europa League following a match-fixing investigation.
Mechelen lodged a complaint with Fifa about the transfer. They said they had received a “concrete offer” from United the day before Verrips moved.
Their issue was with the Dutchman then deciding to become a free agent without their permission.
The Blades sought legal advice before signing Verrips, but there were reports they held off playing him while Fifa investigated. It was even said naming the 24-year-old in a match-day squad could lead to a fine or points deduction.
However, Het Laaste Nieuws reports that the two clubs did eventually agree on a small fee for Verrips.
The ‘keeper made his debut in the FA Cup third round win over AFC Fylde. But that was his only appearance last season and Verrips has now opened up about his miserable time at Bramall Lane.
Michael Verrips on Sheffield United problems
That match against Fylde is Verrips’ only game time for United to date. It only lasted 41 minutes after he suffered concussion.
Having been on the bench for several fixtures this term, the former Netherlands Under-20 international was sent on loan to Emmen during the January transfer window.
After falling behind Dean Henderson and Simon Moore in 2019/20 and then Aaron Ramsdale and Wes Foderingham this campaign, Verrips says promises were broken.
“I had agreed with Sheffield United that I would start as second choice goalkeeper, but that I would play all games in the FA Cup and in the EFL Cup,” he told Voetbal International, as quoted by Sport Witness.
“I would also play both league games against Manchester United, because our first choice goalkeeper, Dean Henderson, was loaned from them and was not allowed to play.
“Because of all the legal battle, Sheffield United decided to get another second keeper. I was not integrated in the first selection. I was completely down in the pits.”
Verrips signed a four-year contract upon his arrival at Bramall Lane. Now halfway through that, it’s unclear whether he’ll see it out.
Verrips will return to the Blades at the end of his loan spell. But he’s been linked with a move back to Belgium with Eupen said to be interested.
Seeing Verrips in a United shirt again seems unlikely.