KIERAN AND THE BLADES CAN WIN FROM THIS LOAN

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

CHRIS Wilder has pulled off a shrewd piece of busi­ness in sign­ing Kieran Dow­ell on loan from Ever­ton for the rest of the sea­son. I saw him play for Eng­land Un­der-20s out in South Ko­rea when they won the World Cup and I thought he was ex­cel­lent – a re­ally tal­ented foot­baller. He’s a sim­i­lar player to Ma­son Mount, the Chelsea mid­fielder cur­rently on loan at Derby. Not as quick, per­haps, but very in­tel­li­gent with some­thing of Ross Barkley about him. He im­pressed at Not­ting­ham For­est last year and he’s now go­ing to a club that suits his style down to the ground. The Blades play with two deeper mid­field­ers – usu­ally John Fleck and Ol­lie Nor­wood – and Mark Duffy sup­port­ing the front two. Kieran can play any of those roles equally well so it gives Chris a great op­tion. United faded very badly last sea­son, and the size of their squad was the big­gest is­sue. When Paul Coutts got in­jured, ev­ery­thing went wrong. This sign­ing mit­i­gates against that, and also gives the in­flu­en­tial Duffy li­cence to miss the odd game here and there. He’s an ex­cel­lent player but at 33 it does catch up with you. For Kieran, too, it’s a great move. He’s 21. He’s done well at For­est. He’s an Un­der-20 World Cup win­ner. He’s ready to kick on. For a player’s pro­gres­sion, you can’t spend a full sea­son in the Cham­pi­onship then go back to play­ing for the Un­der-23s. The last six months have been a waste. His time is prob­a­bly lim­ited at Ever­ton and, like many young­sters, he may have to come away from the Premier League to get a chance. And who knows - if he has a good six months at Bra­mall Lane and United get to the Premier League, he could be in line for a per­ma­nent move to a top-flight club.

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

CLASSY: Kieran Dow­ell play­ing for Eng­land U21s

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