Kieran Wallace will be granted an opportunity to prove himself at first team level this season, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has vowed.
Wallace, previously of Nottingham Forest, signed a permanent contract with the League One club last week after impressing on trial.
The youngster was an unused substitute when United were held to a 1-1 draw by Notts County four days ago and Clough, speaking ahead of tonight’s fixture against MK Dons, told The Star: “We’ll be looking to get Kieran involved at some stage. He’ll definitely get a chance.
“It’s not a case of us bringing Kieran here and then not using him. The fact he was on the bench proves that.
“We might have to wait for the right moment or situation but getting Kieran out there on the pitch is definitely something we want to do.”
Wallace had been working with Ilkeston after leaving the City Ground earlier this year and Che Adams, his former team mate at the New Manor Ground, also completed a transfer to Bramall Lane last month. United have agreed to meet the NPL Premier Division side in a pre-season friendly after recruiting both players.
“Kieran is a talented midfielder and the fact he’s represented England, his country at youth level, illustrates his potential,” Clough added. “We’ve been aware of him for a while and, in my opinion, I think he was quite unfortunate not to be kept on at Forest so when the chance arose to take a look at him, that’s exactly what we did.
“If you look at our squad, the age of the lads who are on the subs bench, then they are all up-and-coming players. People who we hope are going to be a part of things here for a long time to come and, if they progress the way they are capable of doing, who are the future.”
Adams, a centre-forward, was coveted by the likes of Newcastle and Sunderland before joining United.
The teenager found himself fast-tracked into the England C squad after making an impressive start to the new season and Clough said: “The best advert for our academy is the sight of people like Louis Reed, Diego De Girolamo, Otis Khan and Connor Dimaio all getting opportunities.
“That’s what we’ve got in our favour when we face competition for lads like Che from the Premier League sides. They see that and they know that they’re not just going to get lost or forgotten about. Exactly the same goes for when the academy is recruiting further down the age levels because, knowing that, is a very powerful lure for everyone involved.”