Ben Sheaf picked up a hip problem playing for the Coventry City’s u23s last week, to compound his recent struggles on loan.

Ben Sheaf of Coventry City on loan from Arsenal shoots at goal Coventry City v Sheffield Wednesday, UK - 27 Jan 2021. Copyright: Nick Browning / JMP / Shutterstock
Ben Sheaf of Coventry City on loan from Arsenal shoots at goal Coventry City v Sheffield Wednesday, UK – 27 Jan 2021. Copyright: Nick Browning / JMP / Shutterstock

Coventry City boss Mark Robins reported over the weekend that Ben Sheaf picked up an injury to his hip whilst playing for the City academy side against Charlton.

“Ben Sheaf picked up a hip problem, that looks to all intents and purposes like a tear to his hip flexor so that’ll be a period out for him,” Robins said.

Sheaf was already struggling to get regular minutes at Coventry, which is why he was playing for the u23s in the first place.

Though the 23-year-old has appeared in five of their last seven first-team games, he didn’t start any of them, and he hasn’t made a start in all competitions since February 2nd, over 10 games ago.

It’s a huge change from the five months leading up to that point, when Sheaf had made 23 starts in 30 games.

Quite why he’s dropped out of the lineup completely isn’t entirely clear. It could be purely performance-based, or it could be because Robins doesn’t plan to keep him next season and would prefer to give the minutes to one of his long-term players.

An even more cynical view would be that they’ve been deliberately leaving him out to avoid activating his purchase clause. We don’t know the exact details of their obligation to buy, but it might involve giving him a certain number of starts.

It doesn’t matter right now, either way. Sheaf has no choice but to watch from the sidelines until he can get fit again. We wish him the best with his recovery.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.