SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson believes left-back Marcus Williams has reached a crossroads in his career.
The Reading defender, who hails from Doncaster, has spent the last three months on loan at Bramall Lane.
Brought in initially as cover for Lecsinel Jean-Francois, the 25-year-old went on to make the left-back spot his own and has featured prominently in United’s promotion charge, producing a series of impressive displays.
However, having stayed with United for the maximum 93-day period, Williams now faces an uncertain future. His loan deal expired on Monday, meaning he cannot feature in the club’s hectic Christmas programme.
Because of Williams’ situation, Blades boss Danny Wilson opted to recall Jean-Francois for the home clash with Rochdale. With Williams unable to play, Haiti international Jean-Francois is set to start in the club’s next three league fixtures, at Bournemouth tomorrow and at home to Notts County and Hartlepool.
It is thought Reading are prepared to let Williams go on a permanent basis in the New Year and Royals chief Brian McDermott has even given the player permission to carry on training at United.
Speaking to the press corps yesterday, Wilson said talks are on going with Reading over Williams, who has made 14 apppearances for United, and that he is confident of finalising a full-time switch. The Star understands Williams is unlikely to command a transfer fee as Wilson looks to increase the options at his disposal on the left flank.
Wilson said: “I think Marcus needs to be settled. I think his career is up in the air at this moment. He doesn’t really know whether he is going to be with us or elsewhere.
“He needs that bit of security. I think we saw it affected him in his last few matches he played for us.
“Maybe it [the situation] played on his mind. We know what he is capable of doing. He has got terrific pace and he can link up well down the sides.
“He gives us that little bit of extra strength that we need.”
Wilson is poised to keep faith with the same side who cruised to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Rochdale last week.
This will be the first time the two sides have crossed swords in 21 years. Bournemouth have registered just one victory in their previous 11 encounters with the Blades. Their record at home this season reads two wins, two draws and five defeats.
Teams and ref
BOURNEMOUTH (possible): Flahavan; Francis, Cook, Barrett, Daniels; Cooper; Pugh, Arter, Gregory, MacDonald; Symes (4-1-4-1).
UNITED (possible): Simonsen; Lowton, Collins, Maguire, Jean-Francois; Williamson, McDonald, Doyle, Quinn; Cresswell, Evans (4-4-2).
Roger East (Wiltshire): He has officiated 22 matches this year and dished out 60 yellow cards and four reds.