Sheffield United: ‘I’d happily be a Blade for life,’ says defender Kieron Freeman

Kieron Freeman would happily finish his career with Sheffield United
Kieron Freeman would happily finish his career with Sheffield United

Kieron Freeman has revealed he would be happy to finish his career with Sheffield United after manager Chris Wilder confirmed the wing-back will be offered a new contract.

Freeman, whose present deal expires at the end of next season, made the admission after being called-up by Wales for Tuesday's Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.

As The Star revealed earlier this week, Freeman, together with his team mate Enda Stevens, are set to hold talks with Bramall Lane's hierarchy about extending their stays in South Yorkshire. Fellow defender Chris Basham has entered the final phase of his negotiations, with Wilder acknowledging the 30-year-old is poised to reach an agreement.

"I have been here three or four years now, and if I don’t ever have to leave, I won’t," Freeman said. "It was never in doubt I would leave. I have still got 18 months left, and I am just happy playing football."

Freeman, aged 26, joined United in 2015 after spells with Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town. After representing Wales at youth and under-21 levels, he was summoned into the senior squad by Ryan Giggs eight days ago.

"He just said ‘glad to have you on board and show us what you have got’," Freeman, describing the moment he reported for duty, said. "I’m guessing he just wants me to do what I have been doing for Sheffield United. 

Kieron Freeman is expected to face Derby County

Kieron Freeman is expected to face Derby County

"I have been here three or four years, the team hasn’t changed that much. There’s quality players here, but also elsewhere, and it’s nice to see how other people play and how other managers work. You can always learn, you should be like a sponge, picking up little things.

"Ryan Giggs is an absolute legend as a player and now he is gone into management. But you can always ask him for advice, he has played at the highest calibre, and you can  learn off him."

Freeman is expected to make his 11th appearance of the season against another former club, Derby County, tomorrow. United prepared for the game a point ahead of second-placed West Bromwich Albion.

"I am not shocked by our start in the slightest with the players we have," Freeman said. "I see the lads day to day, it’s just about progressing and getting better.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

"In training, we just need to improve as players and as a team. The squad has been together for a while now and we are learning about each other. Training is fun, we have a good set of lads and good backroom staff."