Boost for Sheffield United as key man makes early return from international duty
One of Sheffield United's most important players has been back with the Blades squad earlier than some might have expected
Concerns Sheffield United fans might have had over having their international stars back, fit and ready for action in a crucial match on Saturday have been dampened after a common sense approach was taken with a governing body.
George Baldock has been away on duty with Greece and played the full 90 minutes of their friendly win over New Zealand on Friday night. However, after that, the Blades defender was back on the plane to the UK and meeting up with his United team mates to prepare for the weekend clash with Bournemouth at Bramall Lane.
Reports in Greece have suggested that an agreement had been reached beforehand between United and national team boss Gus Poyet that Baldock wouldn't play in tonight's Euro 2024 qualifier against France unless absolutely necessary.
France have already qualified having topped Group B, while Greece are in third and can't finish any higher, regardless of whether they manage to get a suprise victory over Mbappe et al.
Poyet's side will take part in a play-off to determine whether they will make it to Germany next summer and so with this encounter against the French largely meaningless, it was seemingly agreed that Baldock would make an early return to Sheffield.
The 30-year-old has endured a turbulent season so far with injury and has only recently returned to action - that comeback coinciding with an upturn in United's fortunes.
It is appears as though a similar agreement has been reached between Poyet and Liverpool, with Kostas Tsimikas also returning home to prepare for the Reds' clash with Man City on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool recently lost their first choice left full-back Andy Robertson to injury while on international duty with Scotland.
Meanwhile, James McAtee will be looking for a further boost to his confidence tonight as England under 21s take on Northern Ireland at Goodison Park. The Blades' loan star scored twice for the Three Lions in their 3-0 win over Serbia on Friday.