Key former Sheffield United players on lookout for new clubs after being released | Former Blades loanee's bizarre situation at Blackburn Rovers

Two players who eventually saw the light and ended up at Sheffield United after spells at city rivals Wednesday earlier in their careers are on the lookout for new employers after being released from their current clubs.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:27 pm

Leon Clarke, who turned 36 earlier this year, featured on the list of players let go by Shrewsbury Town at the end of the current campaign while Caolan Lavery, the Canadian striker, will leave Walsall when his contract officially expires this summer.

Clarke, of course, was one of United’s heroes of Hillsborough with two goals in the Blades’ 4-2 win over their biggest rivals back in 2017, and ended the 2017/18 season with 19 goals to his name.

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He played a bit-part role for United the following season as they were promoted, but did have a hand in helping the Blades over the line when he went on loan to Wigan at the back end of the campaign and helped them beat Leeds at Elland Road, handing the initiative to United in the race for second place.

He made only 10 appearances for Shrewsbury, scoring once, and last played in January. He then underwent surgery to correct a blood clot in his back after picking up another hamstring injury.

Lavery’s release is more of a surprise, at 28 years of age. He joined United after turning down the offer of a new contract at Wednesday and helped United win promotion from League One, before later joining Rotherham United on loan.

Leon Clarke of Sheffield Utd celebrates his second goal during the Championship match at the Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield. Picture date 24th September 2017. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Last week it was revealed that Paul Coutts and Mark Duffy, two more influential members of United’s legendary squad that earned two promotions in three seasons and went from League One to the Premier League, were free agents after being released by Fleetwood Town.

Harry Chapman, who also played for United on loan in League One, was a teammate of Clarke’s on loan at Shrewsbury and is out of contract this summer at his parent club, Blackburn Rovers.

Both Chapman and Blackburn thought there was an option to extend his deal by a year, with both parties expecting it to be taken up. But then it was revealed that such a clause does not actually exist, leading to negotiations between Chapman and Rovers.