Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has kept his promise to three of Bramall Lane’s young players by including them in the first team squad’s pre-season training sessions.
Regan Slater, Sam Graham and Rhys Norrington-Davies joined senior professionals, including Simon Moore and Jack O’Connell, at the Steelphalt Academy earlier this week.
The trio, all graduates of the Championship club’s youth system, could be involved when United begin their summer friendly programme with a visit to Stocksbridge Park Steels next weekend. Wilder has already confirmed Slater and Norrington-Davies will travel to Portugal for United’s friendly against Maritimo on July 12.
“The players have all come back in excellent shape,” Wilder said. “The way we play, you’ve got to be fit and athletic to get around the pitch. So it’s really good to see they’ve come back the way they have.”
Wilder, who expects David Brooks’ £15m transfer to AFC Bournemouth to be finalised over the weekend, hopes to welcome more new faces to United ahead of August 4th’s meeting with Swansea City. With goalkeeper Dean Henderson arriving on a season lona loan from Manchester United, Wilder’s attention has now turned to recruiting two centre-forwards to compete with Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke.
Brooks, aged 21, travelled to the Vitality Stadium for a medical on Thursday morning and Wilder said: “The agent rang me to say they were talking terms. That tells you that a deal has been agreed. I imagine it will get done over the next few days or so.”