Manager Chris Wilder believes Sheffield United’s youth academy will give them the edge in the race for promotion from League One next season.
A change to domestic loan rules has been agreed by the game’s stakeholders, with the previous emergency loan system scrapped - meaning clubs can only sign a player on-loan during the traditional transfer windows.
And Wilder, who admits he is “glad that the loan system has been sorted out”, added: “The new system favours us because we have a top academy, and we can supplement a squad of 24 or 25 players with our own youngsters coming through.
“Otherwise, what’s the point in having a fantastic academy building just down from our training ground? There needs to be a connection between the two.
“The coaches down at the academy, led by Travis Binnion, are doing a great job and there are some good players there, too. I saw the U21s PDL final against Huddersfield and it’s exciting.
“Some of the players might be six months away from the first team, and it may be the case that we send them out on loan to toughen them up a little, and get them used to men’s football.
“But we’re excited about one or two players.”
Wilder also refused to rule out the possibility of signing youngsters on loan from Premier League clubs.
One of United’s academy graduates, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, is already well known to Wilder after scoring ten goals on loan at his Northampton Town side last season.
The United boss, who took over when Nigel Adkins was sacked last month, is also an admirer of young midfielder Ben Whiteman.