It was a busy transfer deadline day for Sheffield United as several youngsters departed, the Blades made a late loan move, whilst they also waved goodbye to a modern day legend.
Antwoine Hackford departs
Young forward Antwoine Hackford, aged 19, has embarked on his first EFL journey by joining League One outfit Burton Albion on loan for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.
Hackford, who has showcased his prowess with 13 goals for United’s development team this season across the Professional Development League and Premier League Cup, made his Premier League debut in 2021.
He then went on his inaugural senior loan spell at Alfreton Town, netting on his debut, before encountering an ACL injury during a FA Youth Cup match with the Blades.
Despite the setback, Hackford, who recently penned a new long-term contract, has bounced back impressively under Michael Collins’ tutelage. Now, he looks to bolster Burton Albion’s attacking options, as they currently occupy 17th place in the League One standings.
Finley Potter departs
Young defender Finley Potter has completed a permanent move to League One outfit Fleetwood Town, following his stint at Barnet in the National League earlier this season.
Potter reunites with loanee Harry Boyes, who recently joined Fleetwood Town after an impressive tenure with Barnet. Potter had previously spent the latter part of last season on loan with Barnet as well.
Having been a consistent presence in Barnet’s lineup, Potter contributed to their strong position in the National League playoffs race.
Despite overcoming a knee injury early in his academy journey, Potter returned resiliently to aid the young Blades in securing the National Professional Development League title and an undefeated season.
Jili Buyabu extends and departs
Jili Buyabu has extended his stay with the Blades, signing a new contract that runs until the summer of 2027. He will continue his development through a loan stint in the Scottish Premiership.
The promising wing-back, who boasts two senior appearances, including one this season, has secured a loan move to Motherwell until the end of the campaign, effective immediately before the Scottish transfer deadline.
Arriving from Hornchurch in December 2021, Buyabu has showcased his talent in the development ranks, earning recognition from manager Chris Wilder during first-team training sessions.
Femi Seriki extends and departs
Femi Seriki, aged 21, is set to continue his development with a loan move to the Sky Bet Championship for the latter part of the season, following the extension of his contract at Bramall Lane.
The versatile player, who has featured in both the EFL Cup and FA Cup this season, has committed to a new deal running until 2027. He will spend the remainder of the campaign on loan at Rotherham United, providing him with his first extended taste of second-tier football.
Despite previous loan spells with Beerschot, Boston United, and Rochdale, this opportunity marks Seriki’s first experience in the Championship, following his debut for United against Newcastle United in the Premier League in May 2021.
Mason Holgate arrives
The Blades secured a late transfer deadline day acquisition, bringing Yorkshireman Mason Holgate into the squad for the remainder of the Premier League season.
A loan deal between Everton and United has been finalised for the defender, marking Chris Wilder’s third successful capture of the transfer window.
In his first interview as a Blade, Holgate said: “I’m delighted to be here and to finally get it over the line. I’ve been waiting all month to get it sorted, obviously involving three teams, it is a little complicated but now we’ve got it to this point, I cannot wait to get going.”
On transfer deadline day, long-serving midfielder John Fleck bid farewell to the Blades, embarking on a permanent move to Blackburn Rovers.
Fleck, 32, a pivotal figure in the club’s promotions from League One and the Championship, leaves behind a legacy of stellar performances and numerous Player of the Year accolades. His final appearance for the Blades came in December against Liverpool.
A cornerstone of Chris Wilder’s early signings in the summer of 2016, Fleck played an integral role in the team’s journey to the Premier League, amassing 278 appearances and 16 goals during his illustrious seven and a half years with the club.