Former Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis has become the latest surprise name whom Erik ten Hag has invited to first-team training at Manchester United, according to reports. And the veteran shot-stopper could follow Jonny Evans’ footsteps in earning a short-term deal this summer if he impresses at Carrington.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Lewis linked up with the club to maintain his fitness levels in December and has been sporadically involved in first-team training since.
The 36-year-old is without a club, having left Aberdeen in the summer with one year left on his contract after losing his first-choice status to Kelle Roos during the 2022/23 season.
And it’s claimed that he was invited to first-team training following a conversation with one of United’s coaches last year when he asked if he could use the facilities at Carrington.
Lewis has reportedly been a regular in academy training to keep fit but has featured amongst the senior players when they have needed extra goalkeepers,
He has joined young duo Dermot Mee and Kie Plumley in doing so as recently as this week as Ten Hag prepares his squad for Sunday’s challenging trip to Aston Vila.
The report claims that on Monday, Lewis took part in a session alongside Altay Bayindir and the players who didn’t start the 3-0 win against West Ham United at the weekend.
Lewis, born in Suffolk, spent seven years at Aberdeen after joining from Cardiff City in 2016, keeping 94 clean sheets in 272 appearances.
He started his career by graduating from Norwich City’s academy but didn’t make a single appearance for the Canaries.
The England U21 international spent two loan stints at Stockport County and Morecambe in 2007 before joining Peterborough United permanently the following year.
Four years and 182 games later, Lewis landed in Cardiff but endured a tough spell before spending his final two years at the club on loan at Blackpool and Fulham, then moving to Scotland.
Lewis may have arrived at United at the perfect time. There is an opportunity available, with Heaton expected to leave upon the expiration of his contract in June.
The 37-year-old reportedly wants to play regular football in the final stages of his career, meaning Ten Hag will want an experienced third goalkeeper to provide cover for Andre Onana and Bayindir.
If he leaves a good impression, Lewis may represent a straightforward solution, which would open the door to a dream move in his twilight years if he is willing to sacrifice game time.
Evans returned to Carrington last summer to build up his fitness after leaving Leicester City and ended up signing a one-year contract.
He has played far more than expected this season due to injuries, adding 19 appearances to his United record at the age of 36.