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Sheffield Wednesday: George Hirst handed surprise Owls lifeline

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Centre forward George Hirst has been handed a surprise Owls lifeline.

The England Under-19 international has been frozen out all season, failing to appear for Wednesday at any level following a contract dispute.

Owls striker George Hirst

Owls striker George Hirst

His deal runs out at the end of the campaign and the Championship club appeared resigned to losing Hirst, the son of Owls legend David.

But Hirst, who plundered 40 goals for club and country last campaign, has trained with the first-team this week and is expected to play some part in the development squad’s clash at Leeds United today, kick-off 1pm.

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It is a positive step in the right direction as Wednesday look to keep hold of the highly-rated striker, who was the subject of three failed bids from Leicester City in the August transfer window.

George Hirst

George Hirst

Talks are understood to have taken place between Wednesday and Hirst’s representatives regarding his long-term future in recent weeks, with manager Jos Luhukay describing it as a “positive situation”.

“I don’t know how is the future, but at this moment he is training and can also play for us,” he said.

“He’s a young player who has not played any football for seven or eight months.

“He now needs match games to get to the best best level. I know he’s a very talented footballer.

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“Every week, I keep an eye on our young players.

“In the next weeks and months, maybe we will have more players from the Under-23s or Under-18s play for us.”

When quizzed on the possibility of Hirst staying put, Luhukay said: “I am not involved in the situation in what happened in the past.

“In the future, you always have two parts. One is the club, one is the player.

“Both see the future very positive, and I am happy we have the footballer George Hirst. Every good player I like to play for us, to try and make us stronger.”

Luhukay, who’s side entertain Aston Villa tomorrow, went on to say Hirst will need some time to build up his match fitness and sharpness, having gone seven months “without a game in the competition”.

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