Sheffield United: Why squad announcement isn't necessarily the end for these players

When Sheffield United released their squad numbers for the new Premier League season, Mark Duffy was among the most notable absentees.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 19:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 23:00 pm
Mark Duffy: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Although Leon Clarke and Jake Wright were also missing from the list, Duffy's failure to appear captured people's attention because, as The Star revealed last month, he has irritated Chris Wilder by asking for a new contract.

With the United manager insisting he would not be "dictated to" by either the player or his agent - "Everyone got sorted out by the promotion" - Duffy's future at Bramall Lane remains shrouded in doubt ahead of Saturday's match at AFC Bournemouth.

But as the visitors prepare for their first taste of Premier League football since 2007, it still remains possible for Duffy to force himself back into Wilder's plans. Assuming, of course, he remains at the club beyond tomorrow's transfer deadline.

With only 22 names featuring on the list United published this evening, Wilder is permitted to add three more before submitting his final 25 man rosteron Friday.

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Eight of those, according to the competition's regulations, must be home-grown footballers. However, to meet this criteria, players simply need to have been on the books of a club affiliated to the Football Association for three years before they turned 21. It explains why Spaniard Ces Fabregas, who progressed through Arsenal's youth system before moving to Barcelona, counted towards Chelsea's quota during his time at Stamford Bridge.

But Owen Hargreaves, despite being capped by England, did not count as a home-grown player after joining Manchester United because he graduated from Bayern Munich's academy. There is no limit on the number of under-21 players United can use next term, regardless of their nationality.

Duffy and Clarke were both on the scoresheet when United beat non-league neighbours Hallam in a friendly on Tuesday night. Although the fixture had been billed as an under-23's game, Wright, together with new signings Ravel Morrison and Lys Mousset, also took part.