Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder explains why Clayton Donaldson was released as he prepares to face old club

As he fielded questions about the striker he is desperate to sign before next week’s loan window closes, Chris Wilder took a minute or so to talk about one he finally got his hands on last season... and then released.

Clayton Donaldson, a player Wilder tried to sign four times since they first worked together at Halifax Town, joined tomorrow’s opponents Bolton Wanderers after his short-term United deal expired in the summer.

Clayton Donaldson in his Blades days

Clayton Donaldson in his Blades days

Donaldson, a £50,000 deadline-day buy from Birmingham City, scored twice on his Blades debut at Sunderland and added three more goals as his season was disrupted by injury.

The 34-year-old could make his fourth appearance in Bolton colours against his old side, and Wilder said: “Clayton did really well for us, and gave us something we didn’t have. He had a couple of injury issues and we just went in a different direction.

“He’s a great kid, very popular in the changing room, and obviously had a fantastic start on debut, scoring twice against Sunderland. Sometimes, when good players are around, it raises the bar in the team so others play well.

“Clayton being in the building put pressure on Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp to play well . Possibly he would have liked it to have gone a little bit better than it did, but I always thought it was going to be a short-term signing for us.

“It was a decent deal at the time, in terms of the money we paid and the experience he had in the Championship. He gave us something we didn’t have at the time. At the end of the season, we shook hands and we wished him all the best.

“I am not surprised he’s got another club, he’s a great kid and will add to what Bolton have got.”

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