Sheffield United: Blades could become loan rangers

Elliott Whitehouse is highly-rated by United but could leave on loan to help accelerate his development  � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Elliott Whitehouse is highly-rated by United but could leave on loan to help accelerate his development � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United will allow some of their most promising young players to leave the club on loan to accelerate their development, writes James Shield.

Elliott Whitehouse and Joe Ironside are among those officials at Bramall Lane believe would benefit from regular first team football elsewhere before being recalled to South Yorkshire later this season.

David Weir, the United manager, recently acknowledged that young members of his squad could be placed with “carefully selected clubs” should the opportunity arise.

As The Star revealed earlier this month, Fleetwood Town are considering an approach for Ironside after monitoring his situation since the start of the new League One campaign.

The 19-year-old centre-forward featured as a second-half substitute during last weekend’s game against Bradford City but, with Weir exploring ways of bolstering United’s attacking options, could find further opportunities in short supply. Whitehouse, a talented midfielder, also boast admirers at League Two level.

Meanwhile, Chris Porter could be sacrificed by Weir as the former Scotland international continues to overhaul the squad he inherited from Danny Wilson two months ago.

Porter came close to leaving United last term with both Town and York City thought to have explored the possibility of submitting bids. However the striker, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is believed to view Scotland as his preferred destination should he be declared surplus to requirements.

Porter enjoyed a prolific spell at Motherwell before returning to England with Derby County in January 2009.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1