Sheffield United: This is why Chris Wilder is convinced Kieran Dowell will be a big hit at Bramall Lane

Kieran Dowell has joined Sheffield United on loan: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Kieran Dowell has joined Sheffield United on loan: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes Kieran Dowell's knowledge of Championship football should prove invaluable as the club attempts to secure promotion back to the Premier League.

Dowell became the first of three loan signings Wilder hopes to complete during the winter transfer window when he agreed a temporary move from Everton.

An England under-21 international, the midfielder made over 40 appearances for Nottingham Forest last season after being placed at the City Ground to further his development.

With the race for play-off qualification delicately poised - fourth-placed United enter tomorrow's game against Blackburn Rovers seven points behind Norwich City in second - Wilder is loathe to recruit players without plenty of senior experience following Ben Woodburn's troubles since leaving Liverpool.

But, assessing Dowell's displays for Forest, Wilder said: "He's had games in the Championship which is crucial for us. And at a good club, an expectant club which is expected to perform with good support. 

"We do the character angle but, from a football angle, does he add to the group? The two or three we're looking to bring in have got to add. 

Kieran Dowell has arrived from his parent club Everton: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Kieran Dowell has arrived from his parent club Everton: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"That doesn't mean they are going straight in. They've still got to earn a place and take a jersey off good players. But they've got bring something and make the group better."

Dowell, who is scheduled to spend the rest of the campaign at Bramall Lane, will make his United debut against Barnet in the FA Cup next month. A World Cup winner at under-20 level, the 21-year-old is now a regular member of the Young Lions' squad set to compete at June's UEFA Championship in Italy and San Marino.

United are thought to have beaten-off competition from a number of rival clubs, including Rangers, to capture Dowell, whose arrival in South Yorkshire will see Woodburn return to Anfield.

"Good players have got to expect competition and rise to the occasion," Wilder said. "While it is a team game, individuals have to raise their games as well. 

Chris Wilder beat-off competition to recruit Kieran Dowell: David Klein/Sportimage

Chris Wilder beat-off competition to recruit Kieran Dowell: David Klein/Sportimage

"We have to raise our game in the second-half of the season. They are good characters, the people we're looking at, and hopefully they'll add."

Kieran Dowell is expected to make his Sheffield United debut against Barnet: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Kieran Dowell is expected to make his Sheffield United debut against Barnet: Simon Bellis/Sportimage