Sheffield United have numerous players on loan elsewhere in the Football League. I take a look at how they’re performing at their temporary clubs.
The 20-year-old had been on the fringes of Chris Wilder’s match day squad for the opening half of the season, making five appearances, before making a move to League Two Mansfield Town in January for the remainder of the campaign. At Field Mill, it’s fair to say that Whiteman has flourished. The youngster had already accumulated nine appearances (with just one loss) for Steve Evans’ side and won over the Stags fans with his calm and impressive displays in midfield. The academy product has also developed an eye for goals at Mansfield, with a notable five, including a brace against Hartlepool United. Whiteman, who was nominated for last month’s League Two Player of the Month award, is gaining fantastic experience in the fourth-tier and has hugely developed in his loan spell. The midfielder could be a great asset in the Sheffield United team next season if he continues to perform.
After failing to secure a first-team place last term, Kieran Wallace was sent on-loan to League One rivals Fleetwood Town by new boss Chris Wilder in the summer. However, the 22-year-old’s time at Highbury Stadium has not been successful. Wallace has made just two appearances all season, both in the EFL Trophy, and is currently sat in the Fleetwood reserves. The flexible Blade was in a similar position at the club to Kieran Freeman in the summer and, whilst Wallace has had a counterproductive season at Fleetwood, Freeman has been removed from the transfer list and become a fan-favourite. The loanee must put this season behind him and hope Wilder takes a huge chance on Wallace. The former Nottingham Forest man is still young and proved his use during his 17 appearances for the Blades in the first-half of last season.
The defender rejoined Sheffield United in 2015 as a hero and fans couldn’t wait for Brayford to pull on the red and white stripes once again. However, his time at Bramall Lane never lived up to the performances he showed on his loan spell. After four appearances in August, and the Blades bottom of League One, the 29-year-old once again linked up with former boss Nigel Clough at Burton Albion to decrease the South Yorkshire club’s wage bill. Brayford has shown his quality at his loan club with 26 appearances for the Brewers and his consistent performances have won over the fans of the club he left in 2008, however, he is currently sidelined with an injury. In the former fan favourite’s absence, Kieran Freeman has secured the right-back spot and ignited his team with passion and hard-work this term. Brayford would have to work hard to win his place back, and comes with costly wages, but the defender has undoubted quality.