For many Sheffield United fans, it was something of a surprise to see Polish defender Kacper Lopata move on this summer.
Lopata had been in and around the first-team and featured in the cup, while a successful spell with Southend had seen his credentials grow even further. However, Lopata was clearly frustrated by a lack of first-team chances this season and in the end, opted to push for a move back to Roots Hall.
Speaking of the move a few weeks back, Lopata clearly felt his talents deserved more minutes at United.
“I feel fantastic. I loved my time here when I was on loan and I thought this was a great step for me to kickstart my career and start playing football again. I don’t think there’s a better place for that right now than here. When you go back to the under 23s and you’re not getting a sniff of first-team football it’s hard,” Lopata said of his move.
But just a few weeks on, is there a chance Lopata has jumped ship too early? Certainly, the reality seems to suggest he has made a bit of a rash decision.
Lopata Might Have Got Blades Chance
The injury list at Bramall Lane has to be one of the longest in the league. Anel Ahmedhodzic was the latest name to be added to that this week. The Bosnian is expected to miss at least four weeks with injury in what is a massive blow for Paul Heckingbottom.
Of course, with the likes of Ciaran Clark and Jack Robinson already out, there is now a door open in the back three for someone. And looking at it now, Lopata might have been one of the options Heckingbottom turned towards.
Now, it seems like Kyron Gordon would be the man to get that nod. The Sheffield-born defender has bided his time and was thought to be frustrated himself at not getting a loan move this summer. But there is a realistic chance he now comes in and plays right centre-back.
For Lopata, despite first-team football coming his way at Southend, there might be a tiny element of regret. Young players need to be patient at times and while his quest to play was admirable in itself, had he just hung on he might have found himself playing top level Championship football instead.