Wolves boss Bruno Lage's encouraging comments on Morgan Gibbs-White's Sheffield United future after praise for boss Paul Heckingbottom

Bruno Lage, the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, has suggested that Morgan Gibbs-White will be allowed to see out the season on loan at Sheffield United after insisting he is “very happy” with the England U21 international’s progress at Bramall Lane this season.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 11:36 am

Gibbs-White has been the leading light of the Blades’ campaign so far, contributing five goals and four assists in his 16 games to date.

The young forward recently returned to Wolves for treatment on his injured knee, ironically just before the Blades travelled to Molineux for their FA Cup third-round clash on Sunday afternoon.

The loan deal of Gibbs-White, who would have had to sit out his parent club’s 3-0 victory even if he wasn’t injured, contains a break clause allowing Wolves to recall him in January.

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But with Lage seeing Gibbs-White as a winger – an area of the pitch that Wolves are well-stocked – all current indications are that he will be allowed to remain at Bramall Lane until the summer.

"I'm very happy with Morgan,” Lage, who was Carlos Carvalhal’s assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday while United boss Paul Heckingbottom was in charge at Barnsley, admitted.

“I spoke with him two days ago and I am very happy. We think we took the best decision in the beginning [to loan him to United] and he's playing well.

Morgan Gibbs-White has been Sheffield United's star man so far this season: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“Paul is a great manager who I know from when he was working at Barnsley. So I know he is in good hands and we will see. I am very happy with Morgan and Morgan knows that.”

Making the right call

With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc with the football schedule by causing mass postponements, some clubs are considering recalling their loanees to protect their interests and Wolves did just that by bringing Dion Sanderson and Ryan Giles back from Birmingham City and Cardiff City respectively.

Both men were unused substitutes against the Blades as goals from Daniel Podence (2) and Nelson Semedo ended United’s cup run at the third-round stage, and it was noticeable that Lage – despite reserving the right to make a final decision on Gibbs-White later in the transfer window – referenced the right decision “for the club and for the players” in his decision-making process.

Bruno Lage, manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

Bringing back Gibbs-White to sit on the bench or in the stands would not be in any party’s interest – least of all United’s, who will need their star man back fit and firing as they look to make up ground on the Championship promotion places in the second half of the season.

"It's a decision we have time to make,” Lage added. “We are happy with our wingers, and we have plenty of guys who can play there. So we have to take the best decision for the club and for the players.

"We have called back a right back and a centre back because we don't have too many players in those positions. But up front, we have.

“That's why we need to take the best decision for us. And we have time to make the best decision, for us and for Morgan, in the coming days."