Nigel Adkins has warned some of his players are fighting for their futures at Bramall Lane.
But the Sheffield United manager, who must trim the club’s squad during the transfer window, last night admitted reprieves could be granted to those who impress on loan.
Adkins, who hopes to make “a couple” of new signings before next month’s deadline, told The Star: “Yes, there are some big decisions to be made in the summer, no matter what division we are in. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Sheffield United moving forward? Equally, though, there are people who need to go out and play. I’ve got empathy with them. They need to get games under their belts.”
Adkins, speaking ahead of this evening’s League One encounter against Wigan Athletic, appeared to dash Portsmouth’s hopes of capturing Marc McNulty on a permanent basis when outlining the benefits of the loan system.
“It’s great to see Sparky (McNulty) doing well down there and scoring goals,” Adkins said. “He’s our player, he’s here next year and he’s a good player. But we’ve got a lot of strikers here and we didn’t want people like him, or Dominic Calvert-Lewin for example, just sat in the stands.
“Dom has come back after being with Northampton for a while. He’s another young player, he did great in pre-season and on the back of what he did there, lots of club’s are interesting in taking him for a while. I’ll take a decision on what we do and we’ve got high hopes for him too.”
James Wallace and Florent Cuvelier are among those who could use temporary moves to reignite their careers with United after being plagued by injury.
“James needs games,” Adkins said. “I’ve had several conversations with him, hopefully he’s got more confidence in his body now and has had a sustained period of training. From his point of view, from mine and the club, it might be beneficial that he gets them.”
“Flo has trained really well too,” Adkins added. “He’s a smashing lad with lots of ability, athleticism and we want to see him play too. Maybe someone takes him on loan, maybe he’s on our bench or the team. We’ll have to see.”
Adkins, who yesterday pointedly refused to call time on his pursuit of Fulham defender Dan Burn, said: “It can be unsettling for clubs and players at this time of year. Am I staying? Am I going? There’s so much for people to listen to and read but you get through it.”