AFC Wimbledon have completed the season-long loan signing of Sheffield United’s George Long, as confirmed on the clubs’ websites.
The 23-year-old made his professional debut for the Blades back in 2011 in a Championship fixture against Swansea City, but has never managed to hold down his spot as first-choice goalkeeper at Bramall Lane. Long has forever been in and out of the first-team, but has still managed to accumulate a mightily impressive 123 appearances at a young age.
The former England U20 international was first-choice keeper heading into the 2016/17 season but dropped to the bench after a number of poor performances and the arrival of Simon Moore.
“George’s attitude last season was first-class, but we understand his need to play first-team football.
“He goes to an excellent club with an excellent manager, hopefully this loan will prove to be beneficial to all parties and George returns an even better goalkeeper.” said Blades boss Chris Wilder.
— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) July 4, 2017
Following loan spells at Oxford United and Motherwell, Long now returns to League One to join AFC Wimbledon. Dons boss Neal Ardley explained the goalkeeper problem was not a decision that the club took lightly, “When we looked through the process of the best player for the position we wanted, the top-three were all loan signings. When we went through everything we looked for that physical stature and George is 6 foot 4 inches tall, he is a real athlete, and quick across his goal.”
George Long has undoubted athletic ability, but his decision making and communication has let him down in recent years and led to criticism towards the youngster. Sheffield United will be hoping their academy product can gain valuable experience during his time at Kingsmeadow.