Sheffield Wednesday have played down the prospect of youngster George Hirst leaving on loan when the January transfer window reopens next month.
It has been a meteoric rise for the striker, who has been in sparkling form for club and country during the 2016/17 season.
Hirst, who turns 18 in February, has claimed 22 goals in 30 matches, including a brace in the Under-23s victory at Birmingham City earlier this week.
His stellar performances at youth level and a forward shortage culminated in Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal naming him in his matchday squad for the trip to Reading just under a fortnight ago. Hirst, the son of Wednesday legend David, made his league debut as a second half substitute in Berkshire.
And the England Under-18 international has been on the bench in the Owls’ last two matches against Barnsley and Rotherham United.
Academy manager Dean Ramsdale told The Star: “I would be surprised if we let George out. We see his development with us and training with the first-team.
“We see his development playing for the Under-18s and U23s but ultimately that could change.”
In recent weeks, Hirst has frequently been training with the first-team.
“It is great for George that he is training with the senior guys,” said Ramsdale. “What that is going to do is make him quickly improve.”
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s trip to Leeds United will take place at 12:30pm on Saturday, February 25, having been selected for TV coverage.