KIERAN AND THE BLADES CAN WIN FROM THIS LOAN
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.
CLASSY: Kieran Dowell playing for England U21s