Manager Chris Wilder has told David Brooks he should have stayed with Sheffield United for at least another season rather than complete a £15m transfer to AFC Bournemouth.
Wilder, who confirmed Ched Evans is set to leave Bramall Lane on loan after withdrawing from last night’s friendly at Stocksbridge Park Steels, advised the Wales international to stay put “for another 12 months” when the Premier League club made an offer for his services.
But, after learning Brooks’ heart was set on moving to the Vitality Stadium, Wilder insisted it would have been pointless standing in the youngster’s way.
Repeating his claim that Brooks’ departure became “inevitable” when he changed his representatives earlier this summer, Wilder said: “Personally, I thought Brooksy would have been better off remaining here with us for another 12 months. But agents own players these days don’t they.
“I like the lad and I’ve got a good relationship with him. I genuinely wish him all the best.
“I can understand why he wants to look after himself and his family. Honestly I do.
“But I also thought he could do that by staying with us for another season and developing from there.”
United are set to receive an initial downpayment of £12m from Eddie Howe’s side, with a further £3m owed in performance related benefits.
Wilder, who acknowledged Steve Bettis is returning to South Yorkshire to act as a conduit between himself and the board of directors, is expecting to reinvest a chunk of that money before the end of the transfer window.
Asked if he attempted to change Brooks’ mind, Wilder added: “Do I keep someone here who doesn’t want to play for the club?
“I’m not saying it would have come to that because I don’t think it would.
“But I’m not in the business of keeping people who want to go elsewhere.
“In situations like that, do we offer them more money?
“If we do, what is the effect on people like Jack O’Connell and other players who have just signed new contracts?
“But I didn’t want to lose him and neither did the club.”
Evans, who missed most of last season through injury, pulled out of United’s 5-1 win at the Look Local Stadium in order to hold talks with an as yet unnamed club.
“It’s a deal until Christmas,” Wilder, whose team faces Maritimo in Portugal on Thursday, said. “It should be good for him and, long-term, for us.”