Sheffield United: Loan plans for youngsters revealed

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Kyron Gordon has been told Sheffield United want to send him out on loan this season, with Paul Heckingbottom believing the youngster requires regular first team football in order to realise his potential.
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But, rather than being viewed as a backwards step in Gordon’s career, the United manager has explained the plan to arrange a placement with an rival EFL club is a sign of how highly the defender is rated by coaching staff at Bramall Lane after forcing his way into their senior squad last term.

“If we’re not using him, I’d love Kyron to get out,” Heckingbottom said. “I think it would be really good for him.

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“Kyron, for me, he’s at that stage now where I think he needs to be involved everyday. Everyone is at different stages of their careers and everyone requires different things. That’s where I believe he’s at now, and so it’s something we’ll look at doing.”

Aged 20, Gordon has made four appearances since being handed his debut by Heckingbottom’s predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic. Since replacing the Serb in November, Heckingbottom has also proven willing to blood young talent with Oliver Arblaster, Will Osula and Daniel Jebbison all being handed opportunities during preparations for Monday’s visit to Watford - United’s opening match of the new Championship campaign.

“Oliver, I want to keep him, I’ve liked him in pre-season and he’s done well,” Heckingbottom said. “The same with Will and, at this point, I think being here is a good environment for them to be in. But if someone comes in and blocks a pathway, then we’ll get them out.”

Kyron Gordon of Sheffield United is hugged by Paul Heckingbottom: Andrew Yates / SportimageKyron Gordon of Sheffield United is hugged by Paul Heckingbottom: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Kyron Gordon of Sheffield United is hugged by Paul Heckingbottom: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

As The Star reported last week, United are expected to ask Burton Albion’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to help develop Osula if the Denmark youth international struggles for opportunities, after being impressed by the former Chelsea striker’s work with Jebbison. Osula’s close friend and fellow centre-forward has spoken in glowing terms about how Hasselbaink improved his game during a spell at the Pirelli Stadium last season.

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“I’m relaxed with Jebbo,” Heckingbottom added, confirming Kacper Lopata could also be loaned out when he recovers from a cartilage injury. “I’ve got no interest in sending him out.”