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Hartlepool boss explains why loan spell for Sheffield United youngster David Parkhouse hasn't worked out

Things haven’t worked out for Sheffield United youngster David Parkhouse during his loan spell at Hartlepool United.

Parkhouse has only started three times for the National League club this season since joining on loan in September.

The 21-year-old hasn’t played at all for Hartlepool since coming on as a late substitute against Barnet on November 24.

With Parkhouse’s loan deal at Victoria Park expiring in January, it seems time is running out for him to make a real impact.

Part of the problem is that the striker has had to miss games while away on international duty with Northern Ireland Under-21s.

But Pools manager Dave Challinor says that isn’t the only issue.

“Parky is fine. I had a good chat with him last week because he’s had some things going on at home and we were a little bit concerned,” Challinor told The Hartlepool Mail.

“He’s a strong lad. He’s used to being away from home so he’s okay. We just need to get him back to where he was in the first couple of weeks with us.

“In hindsight, when you loan players in who have international commitments, it can be bitty and fragmented. It’s the first time I’ve done it and it hasn’t allowed him to get a constant run of games or us to get him settled and he’s suffered from that with his confidence a little bit.”

Hartlepool problems hamper David Parkhouse progress

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While several young players from Bramall Lane are impressing away on loan this season, Parkhouse is clearly struggling.

Big things were expected of the Northern Irishman after showing some impressive form in 2019.

Parkhouse was named in the League of Ireland team of the year after scoring 19 goals in all competitions for Derry City.

This led to reported interest from Blackburn Rovers, Everton and Celtic. In fact, the Scottish champions apparently contacted Parkhouse’s agent about a proposed move to Glasgow.

With his contract due to expire last summer, United offered the option of a further year. Yet Parkhouse rejected this, believing he wouldn’t get the first team opportunities he wanted in South Yorkshire.

But Celtic then reportedly cooled their interest in January and the forward did eventually sign a new deal until 2022. This was before immediately joining Stevenage on loan in League Two.

Yet Parkhouse also struggled at Boro, playing just four times and starting only twice.

After further issues this term, calls for a chance in the Blades first team and links with clubs like Celtic now seem a long way off.

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