Sheffield United loan watch: Hard-working Luke Freeman 'a lot better' for Nottingham Forest as George Broadbent makes cameo appearance for Beerschot

Sheffield United are in action tonight as they continue their desperate battle to avoid relegation to the Championship when they play West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 11:30 am

Chris Wilder’s rock-bottom men go into the clash with the Hammers 14 points from safety following the weekend’s round of matches, which saw Burnley win 3-0 at Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion pick up a point against Aston Villa.

But what about the players who are not currently part of the relegation battle at Bramall Lane?

Let’s take a look to see how they fared for their loan clubs at the weekend.

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Nottingham Forest's Luke Freeman, on loan from Sheffield United, in action against AFC Bournemouth at the City Ground on Saturday. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

Luke Freeman

The 28-year-old midfielder is currently on a season-long loan with Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Freeman has now fully recovered from surgery to correct a hernia problem which had dogged him in the early stages of the season and started for the second successive game in the Reds’ goalless draw with AFC Bournemouth at the City Ground on Saturday.

Nottinghamshire Live’s Leigh Curtis, in giving Freeman a rating of six, wrote: “A lot better than he was against Wycombe. Showed some really deft feet and the fitter he becomes, the better he will be for it. Worked so hard.”

Rhys Norrington-Davies

Wales under-21 international Norrington-Davies was recalled from his season-long loan at Luton Town last month to allow him to join the Hatters’ Championship rivals Stoke City until the end of the current campaign.

The 21-year-old left-back, who put pen to paper on a new long-term contract with the Blades in December, missed the Potters’ 4-1 defeat at leaders Norwich City on Saturday as it was the second of a three-match suspension he is serving following his sending off against Huddersfield Town on January 30.

Tyler Smith

Twenty-two-year-old striker Smith joined League One outfit Swindon Town on a season-long loan in August and is the club’s top scorer with seven goals in all competitions.

However, he has only scored twice since John Sheridan took over as boss at the County Ground in November and hadn’t been in the matchday squad for the Robins’ previous two games before Saturday’s clash at relegation rivals Bristol Rovers was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Ismaila Coulibaly

Mali under-20 midfielder Coulibaly joined United from Norwegian outfit Sarpsborg 08 earlier this season and was immediately sent out on loan for the next three seasons to Belgian side Beerschot, the Blades’ sister club.

Coulibaly, who has been named in United’s list of U21 players for the 2020/21 campaign, has scored five goals this season for his loan club but was unable to add to his tally as his side were beaten 2-1 at home by Mechelen yesterday.

George Broadbent

The 20-year-old midfielder joined Coulibaly at Beerschot last month on a deal until the end of the season.

Broadbent, who made his debut in Beerschot’s 3-0 defeat against Jupiler League leaders Club Brugge shortly after signing, was an 87th minute substitute in Will Still’s side’s 2-1 home defeat to Mechelen – his second appearance for club since moving across the Channel.

Beerschot had been leading before the visitors scored twice in injury time to win the game.

Regan Slater

United allowed the 21-year-old midfielder to join League One high-flyers Hull City on a season-long loan in November and he has made 20 appearances so far in East Yorkshire.

But he was an unused substitute in the Tigers’ surprise 1-0 defeat to mid-take MK Dons at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

Jéan Leroy Belehouan

The 20-year-old French central defender joined National League Premier side FC Halifax Town on loan for the remainder of the season last month.

Belehouan, who is a second-year scholar with the Blades and plays for the under 23s, wasn’t in action at the weekend due to the Shaymen’s game with financially-troubled Dover Athletic falling victim to the wintry weather.

Jake Eastwood

The 24-year-old goalkeeper joined League Two strugglers Grimsby Town until the end of the season on deadline day and made his debut in the Mariners’ 1-0 defeat at Newport County earlier this month.

It’s Eastwood’s second loan spell of the season having returned from a six-month stint at Scottish Premiership outfit Kilmarnock last month, however he had no game on Saturday because the Mariners’ home fixture with Tranmere Rovers was called off due to a frozen Blundell Park pitch.

Michael Verrips

The Dutchman became the second goalkeeper to leave Bramall Lane on deadline day when he joined FC Emmen in his homeland until the end of the season.

Verrips, who like Eastwood is 24 years old, made his debut for the Eredivisie’s basement side’s 1-0 defeat to AZ Alkmaar earlier this month and was between the posts again on Friday night when his loan club slipped to another 1-0 reverse, this time at RKC Waalwijk.