Sheffield United hoping for Cameron Archer injury boost as Aston Villa buy-back confusion clarified

Sheffield United hoping for double injury boost as Cameron Archer future destiny clarified
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Sheffield United are hoping to receive two injury boosts over the international break as injured men Cameron Archer and Anis Slimane continue their rehabilitation processes. Archer has not played since scoring in victory at Luton, after damaging a calf, while Slimane has been battling a hamstring issue.

The postponement of this weekend's scheduled trip to Manchester United has given United an extra week's break before they return to action on March 30, with boss Chris Wilder flying to Riyadh to meet with owner Prince Abdullah and discuss their respective plans for the future of the club. One item high on the agenda is expected to be player fitness, with Wilder increasingly frustrated over the availability of some of his key men in recent weeks and months.

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All four of his senior forwards, including the unfortunate Rhian Brewster, have missed game-time in recent weeks, while defenders John Egan, Chris Basham, Max Lowe and Rhys Norrington-Davies have suffered season-ending injuries and Archer's hopes of some consistent form in front of goal have been derailed by a calf issue picked up in training. The England U21 international has shown glimpses of the form that persuaded United to bring him to Bramall Lane in the summer but has not had the impact he would have hoped for in the top-flight ahead of a potential return to boyhood club Aston Villa in the summer.

"Anis has had a hamstring injury, so he's on his way back," Wilder confirmed. "Fingers crossed, with the Man United game being postponed, we're really confident going into the Fulham game that the likes of Cameron will put that time to good use. And Anis will be back and Adam Davies will be back too."

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Archer's future is once again the subject of debate this week after a report suggested that Villa may not exercise their option to bring the 22-year-old back to Villa Park in the summer, given their financial fair play situation. However as The Star confirmed earlier in the summer the agreement struck to bring Archer to Bramall Lane in the summer contained the obligation for Villa to re-sign the striker in the summer if the Blades are relegated.

If they pull off a great escape act and survive this season then Villa still have the option to take Archer back, at a pre-agreed price that is higher than the obligated one if United drop back into the Championship. But as things stand, with United bottom of the Premier League table and 10 points off survival with 10 games left, Archer is bound for a Midlands return.

Speaking earlier in the season boss Wilder insisted he had no concerns over Archer's focus or priorities, despite the prospect of his return home. "And if I did, then we'd be talking to him," he added. "You've got to be fully committed, you've got to be all-in. He's a quieter character, but he's a bright boy and he's a smart guy as well. So he'll know he has to play well, to progress his career. Whether that's here or anywhere else."

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