Sheffield United: Chris Wilder's homegrown plan for Blades as £18m man prepares for Bramall Lane return

Ched Evans is the only Welsh-born member of Sheffield United's senior squad
Ched Evans is the only Welsh-born member of Sheffield United's senior squad
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder insists he is open to signing players from outside Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Wilder made the admission after a report in The Times revealed United are the only team in the top two divisions with 'a purely British and Irish squad'.

That claim is open to interpretation - Caolan Lavery, the United striker, was born in Red Deer in Canada but has represented Northern Ireland at U21 level - but he and Enda Stevens apart, Wilder's squad is made up entirely of players from the British Isles - two Scots, John Fleck and Paul Coutts, one Welshman (Ched Evans) and Daniel Lafferty (Northern Ireland).

“League One is a unique division and we’d struggled for many years to get out of it, so we had to go down a different route. I wanted players here who I knew and had been successful in the division,” Wilder told The Times.

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“I wanted players who know the way around that division, and know what it’s like on Tuesday night in some far away northern outpost and can deal with that, so that’s the foundation of it, that is why it’s British [and Irish] based.

"We are open, now we are in the Championship, to broadening our horizons."

Meanwhile, United will welcome Blades old boy Harry Maguire back to Bramall Lane tonight when they host his current side Leicester City in the Carabao Cup. Maguire, who joined Leicester from Hull in a deal that could be worth as much as £18m, might not feature in Craig Shakespeare's matchday squad but is likely to be in the stands. He could be joined there by fellow Sheffielder Jamie Vardy, who has recovered from injury but might not be risked.