Whitehouse knocking on first team door

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Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson is pondering 17-year-old Elliott Whitehouse’s claims to a senior call-up as he looks to advance the impact of the Blades Babes.

The young midfielder, who skippered United to the final of last season’s FA Youth Cup, is now knocking on the first team door.

Next week’s Sheffield derby is, of course, unlikely to be regarded as a suitable stage, though shocks of that magnitude can never be discounted remembering Michael Tonge’s emergence against a similar backdrop

But the Blades boss believes the teenager “needs to be tested” soon as he takes stock following the postponement of this weekend’s scheduled game at Preston.

Already Matt Lowton and Harry Maguire have made themselves first team regulars while Jordan Slew’s promise earned him a £1m move to Blackburn. Now Whitehouse, the driving force of the youth team, has made a big enough impression on the club’s manager to make it a matter of when, not if, he makes the breakthrough.

He is still a fortnight away from his 18th birthday, but Wilson told the Telegraph: “Elliott is very much in our thoughts and we’re keeping our eyes on him.

“I feel he now needs to be tested at the next level up.”

If Whitehouse makes the grade, as everyone around Bramall Lane expects, that will mean five members of the youth side - including goalkeeper George Long - have made the senior squad.

For the full story, see this week’s Telegraph.