The Championship 2021/22 - GK's To Watch
This weekend sees the start of the new EFL season. The opening day always fills supporters with fresh optimism, with everybody on an even keel. For the first time in nearly eighteen-months, full capacities and away fans will be allowed, making this season’s curtain raisers that little bit more special.
As fans flock back into their beloved team’s grounds after a lengthy absence, it would be easy to forget about what will be on show in front of these packed arenas.
In this week’s Sparta Spotlight, we look at some of the ‘keepers to watch ahead of the 2021/22 Championship season.
Joe Bursik - Stoke City
Joe Bursik won automatic promotion, played a Play Off game and finished mid table of League One all in the same season in a bizarre 2020/21 campaign. Bursik will be looking to add to his fifteen Championship appearances with parent club Stoke, with more stability this time around.
Bursik had a successful loan stint with Doncaster, as well as emergency loan spells with Peterborough and Lincoln (for whom he played one single game in a Play Off semifinal). Bursik is highly rated at The Britannia, and many believe he will rival Adam Davies for the number one spot this season.
The England under-21 international will be desperate to impress.
Mark Travers - Bournemouth
The departure of Asmir Begovic to Everton, has left the door ajar for Irish youngster Mark Travers to take the gloves at Bournemouth.
Scott Parker has not signed a replacement for the veteran stopper and is either currently on the market or is putting a lot of faith in the twenty-two-year-old who has played just one Championship game in his career.
Travers was on loan at Swindon for much of last season and will be using the start of the season as an opportunity to impress. With a place in a Championship side (and potentially beyond in coming years) and an opportunity to add to his three Ireland caps, this will be a huge few weeks for Travers.
Aaron Ramsdale - Sheffield United
Aaron Ramsdale is likely to start Saturday evening’s opener against Birmingham, but his future is uncertain amid interest from Arsenal in a reported £30 million move.
Having been part of England’s historic Euro 2020 squad, it is potentially a huge summer for Ramsdale, who was subject to a lot of criticism for his performances in Bournemouth’s and Sheffield United’s Premier League relegations in the previous two seasons.
Still, if Ramsdale is touted for moves of this magnitude and is good enough for Gareth Southgate’s squad, then he must have a lot of potential to fulfill given his young age.
Should the twenty-three-year-old stay at Bramall Lane and perform like he can, he may well shut a few doubters up.