Chris Wilder has insisted Sheffield United will never be an “arrogant” football club after claiming rival manager Gary Caldwell understands their decision to terminate David Brooks’ loan to Chesterfield.
The England under-20 international had been scheduled to join the League Two side earlier this week before being recalled to Bramall Lane after impressing at the recent Toulon Tournament.
Although one member of the Proact Stadium’s board described himself as “unhappy” after accusing United of performing an “11th hour” u-turn, Wilder told The Star: “It’s a fast flowing game and until you’ve got everything tied-up, it’s not done. David had been away on holiday, it wasn’t and we made a decision. If you think situations don’t arrive like this then, well, I think you’re a bit naive. You could quite easily put a situation where Chesterfield put a deal together with a player, someone else comes along and offers them another £100,000, and they say, ‘no, we had a deal with Sheffield United.’”
Wilder, who has invited former Hull City defender Alex Bruce to train with his squad, is adamant the fall-out will not affect United’s plans to build relationships with teams across the region. Ben Whiteman, another graduate of their academy system, moved to Doncaster Rovers on loan earlier this month.
Brooks could still link-up with Chesterfield if, as Wilder has acknowledged, a “clear pathway” into his team does not develop. The teenager is reportedly being monitored by Everton but United’s hierarchy have yet to receive an approach, official or otherwise, from their counterparts at Goodison Park. Brooks, aged 19, made four senior appearances last term before being named ‘Player of the Tournament’ in France.
“Gary understands,” Wilder explained. “He was disappointed. It was a tough call to make, I pondered about it. I want really good relationships with those clubs. They’re good clubs. We’re a down to earth football club. We know it’s a difficult industry and that all clubs are trying to do the right thing for themselves. We want to be as positive and helpful as we can. We don’t want to be that arrogant club that’s out there. It can be good for us and others as well.”
“It’s a fact that we’re the bigger club,” Wilder added. “It’s a fact that we’ve got the bigger fan base. But I don’t overlook people because of that. I had a great experience at Rotherham as a player and everytime I’ve gone back, I’ve been welcomed. Chesterfield is possibly the closest club to where I live. We want good relations. We understand the disappointment. It was a tough decision, a tough call to make to Gary. But he didn’t bark at me down the other end of the phone. We were initially the ones that put David to them. Then Gary did his digging because he’s a conscientious manager.”