Nigel Adkins believes Sheffield United’s young guns can prove the club’s secret weapon in League One next season, writes James Shield.
Adkins made the claim after warning that Che Adams, who scored an “outstanding goal” during Tuesday’s friendly at Cheltenham Town, has only shown glimpses of the potential which prompted Newcastle and Sunderland to bid for the teenager’s services before his move to Bramall Lane.
“Che has demonstrated that he’s got something about him,” Adkins said. “He’s demonstrated that he’s got a hell of a lot to work on too.
“But it was an outstanding goal and superb pass from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.”
Calvert-Lewin, the latest Redtooth Academy graduate to progress through the ranks at United, was on target when Adkins’ side opened its pre-season campaign against Ilkeston last weekend.
United plan to strengthen their options at both centre-half and centre-forward, where Billy Sharp has emerged as a leading target, before August 8th’s curtainraiser at Gillingham.
But Adkins, who has placed home-grown talent at the heart of his future plans, vowed the likes of Diego De Girolamo and Calvert-Lewin will be given a chance to shine.
Wallace, despite being signed as a midfielder, has been deployed at the heart of United’s rearguard since Adkins’ appointment last month.
“We want to exuberance of youth,” he said. “But of course there will be a naivety as well.
“I must say, Kieran Wallace has been outstanding at centre-half and Connor Dimao has showed great maturity. The same as Callum McFadzean.
“We’re not highlighting individuals but they have done well. They’ve been on the radar, have shown a great attitude and are going from strength to strength.”
Adkins, whose team returns to action at Exeter City tonight, finalised his list of transfer targets after unveiling Lee Turnbull as United’s head of recruitment and chief scout.
Sharp features among them and was omitted from the Leeds squad which faced Eintracht Frankfurt in Austria on Tuesday evening. Although Uwe Rosler, Adkins’ counterpart at Elland Road, confirmed the striker is expected to travel to Norway for the latest leg of Leeds’ training camp, sources in West Yorkshire believe Sharp is now almost certain to depart.
Although Adkins has refused to elaborate on the negotiation process, United are understood to have effectively agreed a fee for Sharp’s services with discussions now focused on settling the remainder of the player’s contract.
However, while United remain hopeful an agreement will be brokered shortly, the 29-year-old is scheduled to be present in Scandinavia.
Asked to elaborate on his decision not to select Sharp, Rosler replied: “No, he’s got no problem. We took him out of the group.”