Danny Wilson today urges Jordan Slew to take a lead on behalf of the Blades Babes by putting football before finance - and staying with Sheffield United.
In a Telegraph One-to-One, Bramall Lane’s new boss also insists that his controversial links with Sheffield Wednesday, which sparked a car park protest on the day of his appointment, can be a help rather than a hindrance.
And Wilson, still relatively young at 51, reveals a personal target that is part of his motivation to succeed - reaching 1,000 games as a manager while in charge of United.
But his first priority is to keep Slew, the 18-year-old striker who has attracted a £500,000 bid from Premiership Fulham. This was rejected and, amid uncertainty over a possible follow-up offer, Wilson hopes the teenager’s exciting first-team breakthrough will convince him to stay put.
“The fans’ support for the youth team has shown Jordan and others that these boys can make a big name for themselves here,” he said following talks with the player.
“It’s important for their development to stick around. Kids are too easily led for other reasons - later on they will regret it.”
Wilson was talking from a new manager’s office in the John Street side of the ground - his choice to be among staff. And he is understood to have made the tea first thing yesterday morning! His time as a Wednesday player and manager may not have made him everyone’s cup of tea, but Wilson believes he can draw on his time at Hillsborough with a similar-sized club.
“That toughened me up big style,” he said. “Talk about growing extra layers of skin, that’s where a lot started to grow. I’d like to think my experiences at Sheffield Wednesday will help me. If that helps Sheffield United, brilliant.”
A thousand games as a manager beckons - if all goes well. Wilson, who believes United “will take some stopping” when the momenum turns, added: “Reaching 1,000 games (currently 843) has given me a goal. But there’s got to be success to achieve that.”
lOne-to-One with Danny Wilson: Page 46.