Southend United boss "delighted" to keep Sheffield United's Kacper Lopata, as Zak Brunt goes to Notts County

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Southend United boss Kevin Maher admits he’s “delighted” to have retained the services of Sheffield United defender Kacper Lopata for the second half of the season.

But Maher’s joy was tempered somewhat by the loss of Lopata’s Bramall Lane teammate Zak Brunt, who joined National League promotion-chasers Notts County on loan after his initial spell at Roots Hall came to an end.

Lopata and Brunt joined Southend earlier this season, with both making a big impact as the Shrimpers battle against relegation.

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The defender returned to United early for assessment on a knee injury, but has now returned for the remainder of the season. Under the terms of his youth loan, he can be recalled by United at short notice in case of an injury crisis or Covid-19 breakout in South Yorkshire.

"I’m delighted to keep Kacper,” Maher said.

“He’s a great character and a very good player. "He was keen to stay which is great and we look forward to him coming back and playing for us.

“He’s had a slight problem with his knee, but fingers crossed he will get through this week and then he will return to us for what’s going to be a tough month."

Kacper Lopata of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / SportimageKacper Lopata of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Kacper Lopata of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Brunt made 10 starts under Maher, contributing three assists before joining County.

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"Zak’s been terrific for us in his time here and it’s disappointing to see him go,” Maher added.

“But we wish him all the best.

“We would like to thank Zak for his fantastic contributions and efforts in a Southend shirt and wish him every success for the future.”

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