Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has rubbished claims he is prepared to sacrifice Samir Carruthers as part of his summer recruitment drive.
Instead Wilder, whose side lifted the League One title last season, predicted the former MK Dons midfielder will become an increasingly influential figure when Championship football returns to Bramall Lane.
Carruthers, who joined United midway through their promotion winning campaign, emerged as a target for Charlton Athletic after The Star revealed Wilder is interested in signing the Londoners’ forward Ricky Holmes.
But, dismissing reports the 24-year-old could be offered as bait, Wilder said: “I’m not signing players to move them on straight away. It’s a big summer for him (Carruthers) in the right way.
“He came into the football club, had 10 minutes at Southend, and everybody went ‘wow’. It was the same when MK came here and he bossed the game to begin with. Obviously that was 10 and 15 minutes but it just showed what the lad is all about and what he can do.”
Carruthers suffered an injury during his United debut at Roots Hall. He returned to action a month later and made a further 13 appearances as the South Yorkshire club finished on 100 points; 14 clear of second-placed Bolton Wanderers.
Wilder, who is also monitoring Southend’s Ryan Leonard, believes Carruthers will reap the benefits of a full pre-season programme with United’s coaching staff following his £220,000 move from stadium:mk.
“We couldn’t get Samir up absolutely to match fitness because we were in the middle of a season,” he said. “We didn’t want to take him out and give him a mini pre-season because we were using him and he could have come on the pitch at any time.”