Why Sheffield United decided to dispatch youngster to Hull City rather than keep him at Bramall Lane
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Although Chris Wilder rates Slater highly, involving him heavily during United’s warm-up programme for the new season, coaching staff at Bramall Lane were concerned the youngster’s progress might be stunted without being exposed to what the manager has previously described as “proper men’s football”.
Although United would ideally have preferred to place Slater with a Championship club - Rhys Norrington-Davies, another graduate of their Steelphalt Academy youth programme is spending the campaign with Luton Town - City chief Grant McCann’s reputation for giving up-and-coming talent an opportunity convinced United that the KCOM Stadium would be an ideal destination for a player who has previously completed spells with Carlisle and Scunthorpe.
Although the sight of Slater being awarded a squad number following Norrington-Davies’ move to Kenilworth Road prompted speculation he would be allowed to remain in South Yorkshire, The Star reported at the time that it was always United intention to arrange another switch to an EFL side.
Even before United failed to take a point from any of their opening three outings ahead of Sunday’s visit to Arsenal, Wilder concluded it would prove difficult for the likes of Slater and Norrington-Davies to immediately force their way into his plans because of the “amazingly high-standards” and “ruthless nature” of top-fight competition.
“Both of those things have gone through the roof,” he said, following a friendly against Derby County.