Sheffield United are not prepared to let Luke Freeman leave this month amid interest from Leeds United.
Football Insider claims that while Leeds are keen on signing Freeman on loan, the Blades don’t want him departing from Bramall Lane.
The Whites are looking for attacking options during the January transfer window following the loss of two players. Both Eddie Nketiah and Jack Clarke have had their loans cut short from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
They viewed Freeman as the ideal candidate due to his proven credentials in the Championship and lack of game time under Chris Wilder.
The 27-year-old joined the Blades from QPR this summer in a then-club record £5m deal. Yet since then he has managed just nine Premier League appearances – four of which have been starts.
This in stark contrast to his form for the R’s, for whom he scored 14 goals and provided 19 assists over the previous two seasons.
Are the Blades right to knock back Leeds approach for Luke Freeman?
While his minutes on the pitch have probably been more limited than he’d wish, Freeman is clearly trusted by manager Wilder.
The 52-year-old’s established midfield three this term is John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood and John Fleck. In fact, across his starting XI Wilder has remained consistent with his selection.
Only three other teams in the top flight have used fewer players so far in 2019/20.
Yet when Fleck has been unavailable through injury and suspension, Freeman is the player Wilder has called upon. Clearly he is ahead of the likes of Ravel Morrison and Ben Osborn in the pecking order.
Which is why Wilder can’t afford to lose Freeman this month. Even if he is not a regular starter, he will be needed if the Blades are to maintain their excellent league form.