Sheffield United: State of play with young stars' futures after approach made for pair
The Blades have used the loan market to good effect in recent years, preferring to expose their best young players to the rigours of ‘real’ football rather than the more comfortable environment of their U23 side.
Two such players who were placed elsewhere last season were Zak Brunt and Kacper Lopata. The pair initially joined Southend United on youth loans, before Brunt was recalled in January and sent to Notts County for the remainder of the campaign.
Southend instead signed Harrison Neal from United as Brunt’s replacement and Kevin Maher, the Shrimpers boss, has registered his interest with United over signing him and Lopata on loan again, telling local media in Essex that he “understands” the situation.
But no firm decisions will be taken while United’s own squad make-up is still up in the air, while Paul Heckingbottom and his coaching staff may look to secure a Football League club for the likes of Brunt and Lopata if they are allowed to leave on loan this summer.
Harry Boyes, Femi Seriki and Frankie Maguire also spent time on loan elsewhere last season, with Boyes helping Solihull Moors to within 90 minutes of the Football League before they lost in the promotion final to Grimsby Town.
The left-sided defender also saw his contract extended at Bramall Lane by a further year.