SIR ALEX Ferguson was swayed by Sheffield Wednesday's fans in his decision to let winger Chris Eagles join the Owls on loan, it was revealed today.

SIR ALEX Ferguson was swayed by Sheffield Wednesday's fans in his decision to let winger Chris Eagles join the Owls on loan, it was revealed today.

The Manchester United chief wants the 19-year-old winger to taste the experience of playing in front of big crowds.

Owls boss Paul Sturrock told The Star: "Manchester United know what a big club Sheffield Wednesday are.

"I think the crowd was a feature; Sir Alex said to me that he wants this player to play in front of big crowds and see how he handles it.

"So the crowd have benefited us in this as well."

Wednesday were boosted by an average attendance of 23,107 in League One last season and have sold more than 15,000 season-tickets after their promotion to the Championship.

Manchester United believe that Reserve football is no longer a large enough challenge for Eagles, but that he is not quite ready for their first team, so needs further League football at a suitable club to promote his development, after his three-month spell with Watford last season.

The Owls have signed him on loan until December 31.

After the arrival of transfer windows in the Football League, players can generally only be signed for half-season or full-season loans, to fit in with the windows.

Sturrock added: "Chris is very direct winger. He's got some of Cristiano Ronaldo's mannerisms. He's very positive and goes at people. We're looking forward to working with him."

Eagles is being considered for a debut at Mansfield tonight but will definitely start against Manchester City at Hillsborough on Sunday (3pm), said Sturrock. Eagles said: "I have come here aiming to improve the team and get more experience at a big club who hopefully will be pushing for the Premiership. I hope to settle in quickly and get started."

His signing, which follows Jon Paul McGovern's back-injury blow, seems to make a deal for on-trial Richie Partridge less likely, but Sturrock said: "We're still chatting with his agent."

The Owls are also still talking to right back Frankie Stimek, but their third triallist, Zoltan Vasas, is leaving.

The Hungarian has been unable to impress Sturrock sufficiently and picked up a hamstring problem.

Adam Proudlock is being pencilled in to play at Mansfield tonight if he has suffered no reaction in training.

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