Derby County boss reveals fear over Sheffield United loan star after “constant struggle” admission

Paul Warne, the Derby County boss, admits he fears loan star Will Osula may be recalled by Sheffield United in January.
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The teenage striker has started only three games for the Rams since joining earlier in the season but has caught the eye with a couple of braces for Warne’s men, in both League One and the FA Cup.

Osula came off the bench in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Forest Green, which saw former Blades favourite David McGoldrick register a hat-trick, with McGoldrick and James Collins establishing themselves as Warne’s first-choice strike partnership.

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United, who have a number of players placed with EFL clubs, will evaluate all their loanees ahead of taking decisions when the January transfer window reopens for business and although Warne is keen to ensure Osula remains at Pride Park, he also acknowledges there is a danger that he will be recalled.

“I think Will and Lewis Dobbin have plenty to give us," the former Rotherham United manager said. "Are they both going to start every game this season? No, they're not. But then I couldn't guarantee that to a Collo, McGoldrick or a Conor Hourihane. But I think they're contributing nicely.

"I like having them here and they have been brilliant options for me to start or to bring off the bench because they've both got pace in their game. But what I think, what their parental clubs think - and I try to keep the lines of conversation open all the time - and what their agents think are different things.

"I would like to think that they'll stay here, but I have to plan in case I get a phone call on January 2 to say there's been an injury at X club, they're going back and you need to make a plan and decide who you want to bring in to replace. That's the constant struggle you have."

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Earlier this year United’s No.2 Stuart McCall suggested Osula’s spell at “big club” Derby was working well for all parties, amid suggestions he may be recalled to Bramall Lane next month with boss Paul Heckingbottom expecting a quiet window in terms of incomings.