There are signs pointing towards Sheffield United including a whole host of young players in their squad against Liverpool this evening.
United head into the clash with the Premier League champions decimated by injury. Barring the odd bench slot and the cameo appearance of Antwoine Hackford earlier in the season, Chris Wilder has, so far, resisted the temptation to play his young stars.
However, his hand might be forced this evening. And there are signs this week that Wilder might well be about to include a number of talented under-18 and under-23 stars in his squad for Liverpool.
Kyron Gordon was pictured in first-team training enjoying some cricket this week, while young Frankie Maguire was also snapped out on the field.
Hassan Ayari, who may well have been in with a shout, is still away with the Tunisia under-20s.
Sheffield United youngsters to get chance against Liverpool?
Further to the two hints regarding Gordon and Maguire, Sheffield United’s under-23s selection a few days ago might have also hinted at other inclusions.
Iliman Ndiaye was missing for the 23s. He has been involved already with the first-team and may be another who is involved against Liverpool.
Kacper Lopata is another name who was missing from the 23s teamsheet. He’s been a regular for them this season and is another who might well get the chance to fill a bench slot this evening.
In reality, the Blades are already down this season. Chucking a few youngsters onto the bench, then, might be at least some excitement for some Blades fans.
However, Chris Wilder will be well aware of the care needed in situations like this. Putting them on the bench is all well and good but he also needs to keep in mind how chucking them into action could affect them. Especially in what has been a losing team for most of the season.
But regardless, it’s nice to see the Blades bringing some through from the academy and a bright future looking a reality for United.