Sheffield United: Youngster Tyler Smith could be handed his big chance, live on Sky Sports against fellow promotion-chasers West Brom

Tyler Smith, the young Sheffield United striker, could be included in the Blades squad for tonight's Sky-televised clash against West Bromwich Albion after being recalled early from his loan spell at Barrow AFC.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 6:25 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 7:31 am
Tyler Smith of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Tyler Smith of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The 20-year-old was summoned back to Bramall Lane amidst doubts over the fitness of striker Leon Clarke, who is a doubt to face the Baggies with an unspecified injury.

If Clarke isn't available to face Darren Moore's Baggies, boss Chris Wilder is left only with Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick and Conor Washington as senior striking options and Smith, who scored 11 times in 24 appearances for the Bluebirds in the Conference Premier, is on standby for a place in the matchday 18.

'Tyler has done well there and that's good, for the lad himself and the other youngsters in the academy,' Blades boss Wilder said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

'We're assessing Leon and will give him as much time as possible, but if he's not involved then Tyler will be.

'He's a local boy who's come through the academy and has scored right the way through '“ his record shows he's a finisher and he's an athletic centre-forward. He wants to run around and score goals, which is always a good habit to have.'

While Smith's possible inclusion in the squad is a positive for the player, and another fillip for the famed United academy, it does however further highlight the lack of depth in some areas of Wilder's squad '“ a fact he again highlighted in his pre-match media conference, when he admitted that he will likely be forced to rely on loans, rather than permanent signings, in the upcoming transfer window.

'In a way it shows we haven't got great strength in depth,' the manager admitted, 'and it shows we have to improve in January, which has been on my agenda for quite a while.

'That's in place and we're looking to do our work in improving the group, because it certainly needs it.'