Nigel Clough has revealed that teenage starlet Dominic Calvert-Lewin could make his Sheffield United debut before the end of the season.
Clough, the Bramall Lane boss, made the admission after the highly-rated 18-year-old signed a new deal, which will tie him to the club until the summer of 2018.
Calvert-Lewin has been a regular in United’s U21 side this season and was named on the bench last season when United beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
He has featured amongst the substitutes twice more this campaign and Clough said: “This is yet more credit to the Academy and the staff.
“Dominic is another to progress to the first team squad and he is a very exciting prospect.
“We recognised his ability very early on, hence putting him on the bench against Villa, but injuries have curtailed his progress slightly.
“But we are delighted that he has committed to the club.
“We are keen to monitor his progress and maybe he will get a first team chance before the season is out.”
Calvert-Lewin was born in Sheffield and has been a member of the club’s Redtooth Academy since he was eight.
“I am delighted that the contract is sorted and I’m really looking forward to continuing my football development,” he said.
“I’ve loved the ten years I’ve had with United so far and hopefully there are plenty more to come.
“It has been great to progress through the Academy to the U21s and being with the first team on a number of occasions has given me an incentive to push on further.”
United recently offered one-year professional deals to six other youth prospects - including goalkeeper Jake Eastwood, on loan at Sheffield FC.