Weir, the wise old man to help Blades

Respected figure: Centre-half David Weir is held in high esteem
Respected figure: Centre-half David Weir is held in high esteem
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HAVING spent the past months scouring the transfer market for a captivating ‘number 10’, Danny Wilson has confirmed that recruiting more prosaic talents are his priority during the emergency loan window.

It is unclear whether room exists on a budget still in need of re-structuring for any more additions, but the Sheffield United manager has already started identifying players whose strength is stopping rather than scoring goals should permission be granted to further improve his squad.

Wilson’s admission that United’s cover for Neill Collins and Harry Maguire consists of “people capable of playing centre-half rather than actual centre-halves,” explains why he was so quick to grant David Weir’s wish and let the former Glasgow Rangers captain train at Shirecliffe.

With Will Hoskins’ arrival increasing competition for places and tactical flexibility in attack, Wilson is now casting his eye across a defence which, in numerical terms, could be United’s weak link.

The durability Maguire and Collins have demonstrated this season has spared Wilson the unenviable prospect of re-organising the heart of United’s rearguard.

However, with the battle for League One promotion places so delicately poised, the experience Weir has amassed during spells with Hearts, Everton and the reigning SPL champions would make him the perfect ‘go to’ man.

Even if it proves impossible to offer the 41-year-old a short-term contract, the knowledge he can impart about coping with pressurised situations could prove invaluable as fourth-placed United look to establish themselves towards the top of the table.

Although fears have been expressed that United’s roster lacks the depth required to cope with a backlog of fixtures, the decision to postpone last weekend’s visit to Colchester also had positive consequences.

Hoskins, whose presence is designed to spread a veneer of unpredictability across United’s play in the final third, now has another three days to bed in before making his debut when Wycombe travel to South Yorkshire this weekend.

Hoskins has been handed the number seven jersey following his move from Brighton, and the former Rotherham attacker is adept at exploiting the space between defence and midfield. An in-depth appreciation of his teammates’ strengths is crucial to performing in that role.