Sheffield United loan watch: Luke Freeman still on the sidelines at Nottingham Forest and defender suffers back injury in 'innocuous' training incident
Sheffield United’s quest for their first win of the season goes on after their hearts were broken by Jamie Vardy’s 90th minute winner for Leicester City at Bramall Lane yesterday.
The 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Foxes leaves Chris Wilder’s men firmly entrenched at the bottom of the Premier League and are now six points adrift of safety after losing 10 of their opening 11 games this season.
But how did the players currently not part of Chris Wilder’s first team squad get on for their loan clubs at the weekend?
Did they fare any better than their struggling parent club?
Let’s take a look.
The 28-year-old attacker is currently on a season-long loan with Championship side Nottingham Forest.
Freeman, who joined United for a then club record £5m from Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2019, missed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Reading as he continues his recovery from a groin injury.
Twenty-one-year-old Norrington-Davies is on loan at Championship side Luton Town for the 2020/21 campaign.
The Wales under-21 international has been in decent form for the Hatters this season, earning a call-up to Ryan Giggs’ senior Welsh squad, but missed the 2-0 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday - although it's not clear if his absence was through injury amid reports he had been rested.
The 24-year-old goalkeeper joined Scottish Premiership outfit Kilmarnock in July on a six-month loan and is back to full fitness after suffering a thigh injury on his debut against Hibernian in early August, but was not in the matchday squad for Killie’s 1-0 defeat at Hamilton on Saturday.
The Northern Ireland under-21 international forward signed for National League side Hartlepool United on loan until January in September.
Pools lost 2-1 to Boreham Wood at Victoria Park on Saturday but Parkhouse, who has yet to make a first-team appearance for Wilder’s side, was also not in the matchday squad.
Twenty-one-year-old striker Smith joined League One outfit Swindon Town on a season-long loan in August.
The forward, who has not made a senior appearance for the Blades, has become a favourite among Robins supporters by scoring seven goals during his loan spell – including the winner in the 2-1 win over bitter rivals Oxford United last month.
But he couldn’t add to his tally on Saturday and was substituted in the 88th minute as John Sheridan’s men lost 2-0 at Gillingham.
In giving the United man a rating of six, Swindon Advertiser’s Jonathan Leighfield wrote: “Smith appeared to be slightly off the boil against Gillingham. He was bullied a little bit and missed an absolute sitter in the first half when he headed against the bar. Subbed.”
Young goalkeeper Dewhurst re-joined League Two Carlisle United on a temporary basis until January 2021 at the end of August.
The 19-year-old had previously joined the Cumbrians on-loan on deadline day last January, but failed to make a competitive appearance before Covid-19 brought about the suspension of league football in England.
Dewhurst hit the headlines last month month when he pulled off two saves in Carlisle’s penalty shootout win over Southern League Premier Division South outfit Hayes & Yeading in the FA Cup first round on his debut, but was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Bradford City at the Utilita Energy Stadium on Sunday.
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 high-flying Belgian side Beerschot, the Blades’ sister club.
Coulibaly, who has been named in United’s list of U21 players for the 2020/21 season, is more than enjoying life in the Belgian Pro League and has played an instrumental role in Beerschot’s rise to the top of the table.
However, his side suffered a rare defeat on Sunday when they were beaten 1-0 by mid-table Eupen to slip to the third place in the standings.
The United youngster has scored four goals in eight matches for Beerschot.
The 20-year-old central defender is on loan at National League outfit Notts County – his second temporary stint with the Magpies – until January but missed the Magpies 1-0 defeat of Woking on Saturday and the previous game against Dagenham and Redbridge in midweek after suffering a back injury in an ‘innocuous’ training ground incident involving team-mate Dion Kelly-Evans.
Speaking before the Woking game, Notts manager Neil Ardley said: "Sam strained his back after Dion fell on him in training. It was just innocuous but, again, it's another one that could be 10 days or so.”
United allowed the 21-year-old midfielder to join Hull City earlier this month on a season-long loan but was an unused substitute in the Tigers’ 1-1 draw at Oxford United on Saturday.
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