Sheffield United: Paynter primed for Blades debut

Billy Paynter could make his United debut versus Notts County.
Billy Paynter could make his United debut versus Notts County.

New recruit Billy Paynter is in contention to make his Sheffield United debut at Notts County this afternoon after arriving on loan from Doncaster Rovers.

The striker, who turned down a loan move to another League One club earlier this season, became United’s first signing of the January transfer window yesterday and is set to stay at Bramall Lane until the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Paynter has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at the Keepmoat Stadium, making just one start this term, with Rovers chief Paul Dickov preferring Theo Robinson and Federico Macheda in attack.

United manager Nigel Clough said: “Billy is a proven striker at this level and he gives us additional options with a busy period of fixtures ahead. He is cup-tied but available for the league games and will be able to share the load with Chris Porter.”

Paynter, who moved to Rovers in the summer of 2012, played an instrumental role in their championship winning team last season, bagging 13 goals in 40 outings. One of his strikes came from the penalty spot against United on New Year’s Day. He was then sent off in the latter stages of the derby.

The 29-year-old will always be remembered fondly by United’s neighbours for his part in the dramatic goal that secured the League One title for Rovers at Brentford on the final day of last season. He collected the clearance after Marcello Trotta’s missed penalty and then squared a pass to scorer James Coppinger.

Payner, out of contract at the end of the season, has netted 14 goals in 28 starts for Rovers.

Marcus Williams, meanwhile, has penned a one-and-a-half-year deal with Scunthorpe United after being released by United. Defender Sean McGinty has joined Northampton Town on a month’s loan.