Chris Wilder has emphasised his belief that Ched Evans can become an important player for Sheffield United next season by refusing to make the centre-forward available for transfer.
Seven members of Bramall Lane’s first team squad, including strikers Caolan Lavery and James Hanson, have received permission to find new clubs after being declared surplus to requirements.
Despite being blighted by injuries last term, Evans is set to remain on the Championship club’s payroll following Wilder’s insistence that he will benefit from a proper pre-season campaign.
“Ched’s probably not had one of those for a while,” he said. “We know what he’s capable of and having that base will help him show it.”
The Wales international, who scored 42 goals in 77 league starts for United during his first spell in South Yorkshire, returned 12 months ago following a brief spell with Chesterfield.
After rebuilding his career at the Proact Stadium when the rape conviction which forced him to leave United was quashed, Evans, who was subsequently found not guilty at a retrial, rejoined United for an undisclosed sum last summer. However, after missing a large chunk of United’s preparations for the new season due to a hip complaint, Evans underwent surgery to correct a long-standing knee problem before Christmas.
Although Wilder has used him sparingly since, the United manager recently insisted Evans retains the talent to become a key part of his plans.
“Ched is desperate to do well for this club,” Wilder said. “He shows that every single day in training and the fitness is key.”