Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins has admitted that he could take a leaf out of recent successful sides’ books by delving into the loan market in a bid to gain promotion from League One.
It has been a strategy that many of the teams who have gone up in the past number of years have used to great effect with last year alone, each of the division’s promoted sides featuring at least one loan hit for a large part of the campaign.
Jermaine Beckford, an ex-player of Adkins’ at Scunthorpe, was one of those success stories at Preston North End, who stormed back to the Championship by way of the Play Offs.
Meanwhile, at MK Dons, Will Grigg and Benik Afobe’s goals throughout the campaign were hugely important, as were the displays by Fulham’s Matt Smith with champions Bristol City during his spell at Ashton Gate.
Former Blades boss Nigel Clough brought in loan players when he first took the job, most notably John Brayford, who would eventually join permanently, but it wasn’t an avenue he went down too much last season, bar bringing in Chris O’Grady for what turned out to be a short period.
Adkins won’t be given anything like a ‘war chest’ to strengthen his squad and is well aware of the financial benefits of having players on short-term contracts to supplement what he already has.
To that end, the new manager says the loan market is something that he could at least look at, at some stage in the upcoming season.
“You look at the teams in the Championship and League One they have utilised the loan market extremely well,” he said.
“Because the finances are getting greater and greater, to actually go and buy someone and pay them a full wage, potentially over a long period of time, can actually be quite damaging to a football club.
“So using the loan market is something that successful teams appear to be doing a lot more now and obviously that is an avenue that we can go down and we can explore to enhance the group of players that we’ve got.”
Meanwhile, Adkins refused to be drawn on the possibility of linking up once again with striker Billy Sharp, saying: “He’s a great lad, he scores goal, but he’s a Leeds United football player and just at this moment in time and I know everyone is going to talk about when we are we going to sign a player, I think it’s better for me to keep my counsel and try and avoid being linked with players.”