Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, has thrown a lifeline to four players ostracised from Bramall Lane’s first team squad, writes James Shield.
Former Belgium under-21 international Florent Cuvelier, Neill Collins, Callum McFadzean and George Long all faced uncertain futures in South Yorkshire after failing to command places in Nigel Clough’s starting eleven.
But The Star has learnt that Adkins, who was unveiled as the 49-year-old’s successor earlier this month, told the quartet to report for duty at the Redtooth Academy when preparations for the new League One campaign begin in earnest next week.
News that Adkins has granted Cuvelier a temporary reprieve represents a blow to Burton Albion’s hopes of signing the midfielder while a plan to dispatch Long to Motherwell on loan has now been shelved.
Instead, together with Collins and McFadzean, they will now be asked to showcase their talents during United’s programme of summer friendlies.
Collins has not made an appearance for his parent club since October and is known to have endured a difficult relationship with Adkins’ predecessor.
Long helped Ian Baraclough’s side preserve its Scottish Premiership status after moving to Fir Park on a temporary basis in February while McFadzean, another graduate of United’s youth system, represented Albion on loan last term.
Cuvelier also enjoyed a spell at the Pirelli Stadium before returning due to injury.