Duo's decision to stay at Sheffield United was "never in doubt" as star name edges closer return

Despite taking weeks to finalise, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed there “was never a doubt in my mind” that the loans which brought Dean Henderson and Richairo Zivkovic to Bramall Lane would be extended to over the remainder of the Premier League season.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 5:09 pm
Jack O'Connell (C) could return to full training soon at Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Both players were due to return to their parent clubs yesterday, after accepting temporary transfers from Manchester United and Changchun Yatai respectively.

But together with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Kieron Freeman and Leon Clarke - whose contracts were also set to expire before the campaign was completed - the duo have agreed to remain in South Yorkshire until after this month’s visit to Southampton.

All five could be included in the squad which faces Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane on Wednesday.

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“I always believed the loans would be extended,” Wilder said. “Doing them is not as straightforward as people think. There’s administration, negotiation and all sorts of other stuff.”

“There was never any doubt in my mind, knowing what the boys are like, that they wouldn’t re-sign,” Wilder added. “It was never a concern for me.”

Meanwhile, Wilder has revealed that Jack O’Connell is on course to resume full-training shortly after missing all of United’s last four games through injury. John Lundstram is awaiting the results of a scan on the shoulder problem he sustained during last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal.

“Every day that goes by is a day closer for Jack,” Wilder said. “But there won’t be a chance of us making a high risk decision."

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