Sheffield United: Blades are still in the market for centre-half

Ethan Ebanks-Landell celebrates his goal at Southend. Pic David Klein/SportimageEthan Ebanks-Landell celebrates his goal at Southend. Pic David Klein/Sportimage
Ethan Ebanks-Landell celebrates his goal at Southend. Pic David Klein/Sportimage
Sheffield United will consider trying to sign Ethan Ebanks-Landell on a permanent basis if they win promotion.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, the on-loan centre-half’s parent club, confirmed they would not be exercising their right to terminate his season long agreement with Chris Wilder’s side earlier this week following talks between Bramall Lane’s hierarchy and their counterparts at Molineux.

Having protected their investment by awarding Ebanks-Landell, who has spent 15 years with the Championship club, a new long-term contract, Wilder’s counterpart Paul Lambert indicated he was looking forward to welcoming the defender back into his squad next term.

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But The Star understands that United still view Ebanks-Landell as a potential target, having anticipated Wolves would extend a deal which had been scheduled to expire at the end of the present campaign. These negotiations, and the possible impact upon the terms and conditions of the loan, are likely to have been the cause of the delay between Lambert’s initial indication the player was not being recalled and Monday’s announcement.

Ebanks-Landell, aged 24, scored his fifth goal for United during last Saturday’s victory over Southend and is set to make his 22nd appearance when the League One leaders visit Walsall this weekend. Wilder’s side are preparing for the fixture four points clear of second-placed Scunthorpe although Jon Whitney’s team have already beaten them twice so far this term.

Wolves’ sporting director Kevin Thelwell, who has been instrumental in plotting the next stage of Ebanks-Landell’s career, admitted the player has benefitted from a “sustained period of first team games” and will “hopefully come back to us in a strong position to try and get himself in our squad next season.”

“With less than 18 months on his previous contract, it was a great opportunity for us to get him tied down and secure his long-term future at this football club,” Thelwell added.