Manager Chris Wilder has outlined Sheffield United’s strategy for Oliver Arblaster, following reports linking the highly-rated teenager to a loan move with League One giants Derby County.
Arblaster, currently recovering from a knee injury suffered during his loan spell at Port Vale, has been recalled by United. The England U20 international had made a positive impression on Port Vale fans, securing a regular starting position in the third tier before his loan was cut short. Paul Heckingbottom, Wilder’s predecessor, had been contemplating Arblaster’s return to Bramall Lane in January.
A recent report from The Sun’s Alan Nixon indicates that Derby are closely monitoring the 19-year-old’s injury recovery, with potential interest in securing him on loan for the remainder of the season. However, Wilder has stated that the midfielder has “ticked the League One box”.
The gaffer spoke about his plan for the young playmaker, via The Star: “We could put him out into the Championship, I suppose, so this was a decision we made. We feel he’s better with us. There were decisions with Iliman [Ndiaye] regarding that, decisions with David Brooks at the time. We could have put him out but we wanted him in the group and learning in terms of our demands as a coaching staff and as a manager.”
Whether it’s the right thing to keep him involved with the first team which is struggling in the Premier League, we’ll only know in the future. Arblaster has a promising career ahead of him and many Blades fans believe the 19-year-old is the player that will eventually take over from experienced central midfielders such as Oliver Norwood.