Diego De Girolamo could be allowed to depart Sheffield United on loan, Nigel Clough confirmed last night, despite being pencilled-in to feature during the club’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Hartlepool next week, writes James Shield.
Clough made the admission after confirming he has received “a couple” of approaches from rival teams interested in signing the Italy youth international on a short-term basis.
De Girolamo scored a hat-trick for United’s under-21 side when they beat Brentford three days ago and Clough said: “We’ve had a few enquiries for him on loan. But we have to look after ourselves first.
“If he’s 100 per cent fit and strong enough then we’ll consider giving him some experience. If he’s not, then it wouldn’t fair on him or the club.
“We don’t mind him getting four or five matches in a month and getting some knocks. Just so long as, physically, he’s strong enough.”
United visit Victoria Park in the second round of the JPT on Tuesday evening. Midfielder Stephen McGinn and centre-forward Chris Porter could also feature if they fail to make the squad for Saturday’s derby against Chesterfield this weekend.
De Girolamo, aged 18, made his senior debut in the competition nearly two years ago before seeing his progress hampered by a serious knee problem sustained on international duty.
Clough said: “Diego is not too far away. He’s also had some little niggles and was dogged by injury during pre-season.
“But in the last two or three under-21 games, he’s just started to show the type of form he needs.
“If everything goes well, then he’ll probably be involved against Hartlepool. That should be a good opportunity for him.”
Meanwhile, United’s Professional Development League under-21 encounter at Charlton Athletic on Monday 13 October will now kick-off at 2pm and not 1pm as previously advertised.
Monday’s victory over Brentford, which also saw Ben Whiteman hit the target, was the team’s first victory of the new season and ended a run of two straight draws.