Sheffield United: Tyler Smith is destined for League One move

Tyler Smith is poised to spend the second-half of the season with a League One club as Sheffield United's coaching staff attempt to accelerate the youngster's development.

Sunday, 30th December 2018, 1:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:31 am
Tyler Smith has impressed Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Smith returned to Bramall Lane earlier this month following a successful spell with AFC Barrow, where he scored 10 goals in 23 starts.

Although Chris Wilder was satisfied with the 20-year-old's progress, he recalled him from Cumbria after receiving expressions of interest from the EFL. One of United's South Yorkshire neighbours are thought to be among those teams keen on acquiring Smith's services.

Chris Wilder wants Tyler Smith to taste life in League One: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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"Tyler's situation is that we wanted him back over Christmas to have a look at him," Wilder explained. "But we always knew he was going to go back out to a League One club. That's great for him and his development. 

'It's been interesting to see him develop and come on, to see his attitude change, to see his confidence come out. He's come out of his shell a lot more now."

Like teenager Regan Slater and fellow Steelphalt Academy graduate Rhys Norrington-Davies, who recently completed a temporary move to Holker Street, Wilder believes Smith has the potential to become a regular member of his first team squad. But with competition for places made even more fierce by the arrival of Kieron Dowell from Everton, the United manager has decided to let them continue their footballing education elsewhere.

Another player United allowed to depart on loan, striker Ched Evans, will remain with Fleetwood Town until the end of the campaign.

"The other boys are doing fine out on loan and the numbers here are good," Wilder said. "We don't want to be bloated. It's a tight group. We're not leaving ourselves light but we're not going up into the 40's, where numbers become an issue."

"We keep monitoring people and, with all due respect, nobody has really lit it up to the extent where you think 'they've got to come back.' So they are better off playing games rather than coming back and not being involved here," he added.