Sheffield United set to take their lead from Arsenal as Premier League clubs consider reopening their training grounds
Sheffield United will wait and see how other top-flight clubs who have reopened their training complexes cope with adhering to measures designed to limit the spread of coronavirus before Chris Wilder’s squad make a full return to the Steelphalt Academy.
Arsenal are among a small number of teams preparing to bring their players out of isolation after spending a month working at home following consultations with the Premier League and government health advisors.
United, who are scheduled to meet Mikel Arteta’s side in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, have now taken a similar step after confirming Wilder’s charges are being invited back to Shirecliffe for “testing and specific sessions” on an “individual basis.”
Representatives from Bramall Lane have adopted an open-minded approach to discussions between PL members and competition chiefs about how to plot a course through the chaos created by the pandemic, with no matches taking place since the beginning of last month.
After sources told The Star their delegates preferred to “listen to the arguments” before reaching a decision rather than enter those talks with any preconceived ideas, United officials are expected to employ a similar strategy to the issue of group training, with events at Arsenal’s centre near St Albans in Hertfordshire providing a useful case study going forward.
United’s own in-house medical team are also set to be involved in the process, which appears dependent upon regular, widespread testing being introduced throughout the game.
Arteta’s employers have introduced a number of new rules behind the scenes at London Colney, with only five players - each assigned their own individual football - allowed on site at any one time. They must also comply with social distancing guidelines whilst on the premises and all buildings, including changing, shower and canteen areas, remain closed.
With the PL still committed to completing the campaign - United were seventh in the table when the shutdown was announced - there is now a consensus that spectators will not be allowed inside stadiums until later this year, when the situation will again be reviewed.