Chris Wilder believes David Brooks can become an even better player for Sheffield United this season after experiencing his first taste of international football.
The 20-year-old earned a call-up to Chris Coleman’s senior Wales squad just weeks after making his full league debut for Wilder’s Blades, and watched from the bench as their dreams of making next year’s World Cup were dashed by defeat to the Republic of Ireland on Monday evening.
Although Wales’ talisman Gareth Bale was ruled out of the qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic, he joined up with Brooks and the rest of the Wales squad - including Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen of Stoke - beforehand.
And Wilder, who may restore Brooks to his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash with Ipswich at Bramall Lane, said: “I was delighted that David got called into the Wales squad, and Daniel Lafferty for Northern Ireland.
“These are not only great accolades for the players, but the football club, that we are talking about players now representing their country.
“I haven’t spoke to David yet, but he will take a bit of stick no doubt off Enda Stevens and a few of the other Republic of Ireland boys.
“But it can only be a good thing that he is rubbing shoulders with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
“They are experienced players who have been involved in international football.
“It’s a great experience and one I should imagine he will want more of.”
Brooks earned his Wales call-up after a series of impressive displays, including a man-of-the-match performance in the Sheffield Derby victory over Wednesday at Hillsborough.
“There’s been a lot of talk about David for quite a while now,” Wilder added.
“Now we need to make sure all the talk is about what he does on the pitch, and get himself going, because he is a good player and a decent lad.”
Paul Coutts is suspended for the visit of Mick McCarthy’s Town to Bramall Lane, after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Nottingham Forest last time out, and George Baldock is also out after injuring his calf in the same game. But Kieron Freeman, Wilder’s other right back, is available again after damaging his ribs last month.
“George’s injury wasn’t as bad as we first feared,” Wilder admitted.
“He has done outstandingly well, but Kieron is available so that soothes the pain.”