Boss Carlos Carvalhal has revealed why he left hot prospect George Hirst out of Sheffield Wednesday’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Hirst, the son of Owls legend David, is regarded as one of the hottest properties outside of the Premier League, having plundered 40 goals for club and country last season.
But head coach Carvalhal decided against handing the 18-year-old a senior call-up for their six-day warm-weather training camp in the Algarve, claiming he would have struggled to give him game time in their three friendlies.
Carvalhal has an array of attacking talent at his disposal, consisting of Jordan Rhodes, Sam Winnall, Fernando Forestieri, Steven Fletcher, Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu.
His decision to leave out England Under-18 international Hirst, who travelled with the first-team squad to Portugal a year ago, has carried on training with the club’s development squad.
Carvalhal told The Star: “We have two positions for six strikers so it didn’t make any sense to bring the boy just to watch the games and not have a chance to play.
“We play three games in four days so we have to manage things very well. I wish we had more games to give more minutes to the players.
“It didn’t make any sense to bring the boy just to come here and travel because he needs to play.”
One national newspaper suggested Leicester City have had a £1m turned down for Hirst, who made his Wednesday debut in the League Cup last year.
When quizzed on the matter, Carvalhal said: “I don’t know anything about that. I’m in Portugal. I am far away from England. I haven’t talked with anybody.”
Carvalhal, who faces his old club Vitoria de Setubal in their third and final friendly on Saturday evening, admits it is challenging trying to manage his striking resources.
“It is not easy in training when you have six strikers and you are trying to manage things,” he said.
“Even if I play an 11 a side game, two strikers would play on one team and two on another. Two would be outside. It is not easy to manage that situation.
“If I had brought one more, it wouldn’t have made sense.”