DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, last night acknowledged it is inevitable some of the country’s leading clubs will be monitoring teenage sensation George Long.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper has been in commanding form since stepping into the breach when Mark Howard suffered a muscle injury at Leyton Orient earlier this term.
With saves against the likes of Walsall, Portsmouth and Swindon Town proving instrumental in preserving United’s unbeaten record, Wilson said: “Of course people will be looking at George and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
“That’s football. It’s part and parcel of the game. It’s what people do.
“We look at the best young players and keep tabs on them. Exactly the same as everyone else does. It’s a part of the job.
“It’s always a case of whether you can afford them but it’s not something I worry about, no. That’s the game we’re in and that’s what happens.”
Long, who is set to make his ninth appearance of the season at MK Dons tomorrow, is contracted to Bramall Lane until 2016. Despite parting company with high-earners such as Stephen Quinn and Lee Williamson earlier this year, United warned rival clubs against making bids for another academy graduate - centre-half Harry Maguire - ahead of the present campaign.