Stoke City are hoping to send Mark Duffy back to Bramall Lane, with the 34-year-old struggling for game-time in the Championship.
After playing a crucial role in getting the Blades promoted last season, Duffy moved to Stoke in the summer. The attacking midfielder seemingly upsetting Chris Wilder with demands for a new deal.
It was a crying shame for Duffy. Wilder had spoken in the summer of the story of seeing Duffy. A lifelong Liverpool fan, finally getting his chance to strut his stuff at Anfield.
But, unfortunately for Duffy, that ship now appears to have sailed. And things haven’t gotten much better for the midfielder at Stoke.
He has just a handful of starts to his name. And now, according to the Stoke Sentinel, new manager, Michael O’Neill, is wanting to move Duffy back to Sheffield to cut the wage bill.
Is there any way back for Mark Duffy at Sheffield United?
In the nicest possible way, the answer is likely to be a resounding no. Unfortunately, or stupidly, even, Duffy has severed the good relationship he had built up with Chris Wilder.
Asking for a new deal shortly after being handed a new one was a bad error of judgement. That decision has seemingly cost him the chance of Premier League football.
The other issue for Duffy is where does he fit in this Sheffield United team? The answer to that, at the moment, is he doesn’t.
United have moved to a flat three in the middle. That’s meant David McGoldrick dropping deep to occupy the positions Duffy used to take up. Indeed, even Ravel Morrison has struggled to make any sort of impact at the club.
Most Sheffield United fans have nothing against Mark Duffy. In fact, a lot them will forever love him for his ‘bounce killer’ goal at Hillsborough.
However, the line seems to have been drawn for Duffy at Bramall Lane. Any move back to the club is likely to result in another loan move.
Duffy, no matter how he wants to dress it up, can have little complaint if that’s the case.