We take a look at the career of Chelsea goalkeeper Jamal Blackman with the stopper on the verge of joining Leeds United.
Name - Jamal Clint-Ross Blackman
Age - 24
Position - Goalkeeper
Current club - Chelsea
Previous clubs - Middlesbrough (loan), Ostersunds FK (loan), Wycombe Wanderers (loan), Sheffield United (loan).
Who is Jamal Blackman?
Jamal Blackman is a 6ft 6in goalkeeper from Croydon, London who plays for Chelsea. The 24-year-old joined the Blues at under-13 level and has progressed through the club's youth system. He has never made a senior appearance for Chelsea but has featured in match day squads on occasion.
Blackman has enjoyed loan spells at Middlesbrough, Ostersunds FK, Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield United during his career whilst representing England at various youth levels.
The inside track from Sheffield star journalist Danny Hall...
I'd say it was a very successful loan spell, both for player and for club. No-one particularly knew anything about him when he joined, but when he left a fair few fans were desperate for United to sign him permanently, which I suppose says a lot. He didn't have it all his own way and had a tough-ish spell in the middle of the season, when he was (unfairly in my opinion) blamed for a few games when shots from distance were flying into the top corner.
Jam is a very good shot stopper and his kicking wasn't great when he first arrived, he had a habit of kicking it very, very high but not particularly far! But that improved as the season went on, as he played more and more games and became more comfortable. What was most noticeable about him is his height, and the way he just used to pluck balls out of the air from crosses/corners effortlessly, without even having to jump a lot of the time. He had a very laid-back style with the ball at his feet, too, which caused some United fans to panic in the early days, but it was just a combination of a laid-back attitude and confidence in his ability I think.
Key moments, there was a save on his debut against Brentford that is one of the best I've ever seen, when the striker had rounded him and looked certain to roll the ball home before Blackman came back out of nowhere, stretched his long arm out and blocked it. Incredible. Away at QPR there was a time he fell from a great height, injured himself and dropped the ball, and away at Brentford he was sent off for a bizarre tussle with Ryan Woods, who's about 5ft 5 and a lot smaller than Blackman.
He started the season as first choice due to Simon Moore's injury, and lost his place a couple of times due to injury and suspension, but was brought back almost straightaway which sort of underlined his importance. The fans largely liked him eventually, after taking a bit of time to win them over. Not all were sold on him, but that's football fans for you. He probably benefited purely by playing regular games in the Championship, developing as a player and a person. He was a surprisingly quiet lad when he faced the Press after games but fitted in well with the United squad.
Anything else we should know?
Blackman was in goal during Middlesbrough's mammoth 13-14 penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in 2014. He saved a Raheem Sterling penalty before scoring himself past Reds stopper Simon Mignolet.