Ben Sheaf has completed a permanent transfer to Coventry City, after spending a season on loan with the Championship side.

Ben Sheaf after signing for Coventry City (Photo via Coventry City on Twitter)
Ben Sheaf after signing for Coventry City (Photo via Coventry City on Twitter)

Coventry City and Arsenal confirmed the permanent transfer of 23-year-old Ben Sheaf to the Sky Blues on Thursday, following Sheaf’s loan spell with the club.

Sheaf is signing a three-year deal with his new club, moving for an undisclosed fee.

Manager Mark Robins said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Ben back to Coventry City. He showed great potential at Arsenal which prompted us to sign him last season and he re-affirmed that during his loan spell.

“We’re delighted to add him to our squad on a permanent basis and look forward to working with him.”

Coventry initially signed Sheaf on a loan deal with an obligation to buy, providing his loan spell met certain criteria. The permanent fee was set at £750,000, but it’s not clear whether or not Sheaf actually met the criteria during his loan spell.

Clearly, Coventry decided to bring him in, but it’s possible they didn’t activate the obligation and simply negotiated Sheaf’s exit at the end of the season.

It was certainly suspicious that Sheaf stopped getting starts pretty suddenly in February, even more so now they’ve signed him. It can’t have been that they didn’t rate him, so it’s possible he had a clause relating to the number of starts he made.

Either way, the existence of such a clause no longer mattered by mid-April, when Sheaf was ruled out for the remainder of the season through injury. Thankfully, he’s back out on the training pitches now and he’s secured his permanent transfer.

Sheaf has been with Arsenal since 2014, spending the last two-and-a-half seasons out on loan. He did manage to make his first-team debut in late 2017, but a permanent move was definitely the best next step for him.