SHEFFIELD United could allow some of Bramall Lane’s most promising young talents to leave South Yorkshire on loan, manager Danny Wilson last night confirmed.
But Wilson, speaking ahead of this weekend’s top-of-the-table showdown with League One leaders Charlton Athletic, will sanction their departures only if strict recall clauses are factored into any agreement.
Dismissing claims that players on the periphery of United’s first-team squad should be wrapped in cotton wool as the season enters a critical phase, Wilson told The Star: “If we can get some of these lads out playing at a decent standard then it’s a win win situation for all parties concerned.
“So long as we can get them back here if they’re required then it’s definitely something we’d look at doing.”
David McAllister joined Shrewsbury Town on a month-long loan soon after putting pen to paper on an extended contract with United last week. The Irish midfielder, who has made 13 senior appearances since arriving from St Patrick’s Athletic 12 months ago, helped Graham Turner’s side beat Gillingham 2-0 on Saturday.
Erik Tonne, a 20-year-old winger from Norway, Jordan Chappell and Jack Adams also secured fresh deals.
“You never know when these lads might be called upon,” Wilson said. “And, to my mind, it’s much better for us if they come in having had some games under their belt rather than being completely cold.
“Also, if we can get them playing competitive football, it should improve their development.
“They’ll get much more out of being involved in situations where points are at stake than, with all due respect, a few reserve-team games here and there.”
Turner, the Shrewsbury manager, believes McAllister will benefit from his stay at Greenhous Meadow.
“David is a strong player who puts his foot in and has got a very good shot,” he said.
“He’s not far off a side that’s challenging for promotion to the Championship and his attributes will add to our team.”
United head to London looking to become the first team to win at The Valley since Brentford reached the third round of the JP Trophy courtesy of a 3-0 triumph there in October.
Barring an unforeseen injury or illness prob
lems, Wilson expects to have a near full-strength squad at his disposal for a match which could see United move to within a point of Chris Powell’s side.
Charlton, however, boast a game in hand.
“I’m looking forward to the game,” said Wilson. “Everyone else here is too.
“That’s not complacency or taking anything for granted. Far from it.
“But why wouldn’t you look forward to being involved in a match between two clubs like this?”
Meanwhile, United hope to resolve James Beattie’s future by the end of the week.
The former England international’s contract at Bramall Lane is understood to have expired following Saturday’s win over Bury although a gentleman’s agreement effectively ties him to Danny Wilson’s side until the end of the month.
Wilson intimated on the eve of their 3-0 victory at Gigg Lane that he would like the 33-year-old to remain at his disposal for the rest of the season.
Given those words, it appears a decision to accept the terms on offer rests solely with the player himself.
Beattie, who scored 34 goals in 65 appearances during a spell with United earlier in his career, returned to South Yorkshire two months ago.
But a combination of illness and injury have limited him to just over an hour of competitive football since.
Despite concerns about Beattie’s conditioning, Wilson’s admission that he wants to sign players capable of “adding a bit of spark” appears to suggest the striker will nevertheless be invited to extend his stay - possibly on a heavily incentivised contract - until May at least.
“We’ll be speaking with James but there’s nothing to report as yet,” Wilson said yesterday.