Luke Freeman may solve Sheffield United's transfer conundrum after returning from Nottingham Forest loan spell

Luke Freeman is expected to get the chance to impress new Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanović in pre-season after Nottingham Forest declined to take up the option to make his loan move to the City Ground permanent.

By Danny Hall
Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 12:00 pm

Freeman became United’s record signing when he arrived from QPR in the summer following promotion to the Premier League, but found it difficult to establish himself in United’s first XI as they finished ninth in their first season.

He was loaned to Forest after expressing a desire to play more games, but the City Ground move didn’t work out either after a botched operation derailed his progress and left him playing in pain.

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An appointment with a specialist in Germany discovered the problem, which was corrected and Freeman finished the season with 25 appearances under his belt. But that wasn’t enough to convince Chris Hughton to make his move permanent and as things stand, he is expected to report back to Shirecliffe for pre-season training with the rest of his Blades teammates in the summer.

Jokanović was appointed as United’s new boss last week on a three-year deal, and the club’s board has compiled a list of attacking midfielders that Jokanović has identified as possible targets.

But in Freeman, who became known as one of the Championship’s most exciting talents before moving to United, the Blades may also have someone capable of filling the attacking midfield role if Jokanović decides to slightly tweak the 3-5-2 formation that brought United so much success under his predecessor, Chris Wilder.

Luke Freeman is expected to return for pre-season training with United this summer: Simon Bellis/Sportimage