Sheffield United boss concerned over losing key player in January

Sheffield United defender Ben Davies

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has admitted his side could face losing Liverpool loanee Ben Davies in January.

Davies, 26, has been a key defender for the Blades this season, featuring 14 times in the Championship. After signing for Liverpool as emergency cover last winter, the ex-PNE star  failed to make a competitive appearance under Jurgen Klopp. However, there is a chance the rising Covid-19 cases inside the Premier League could act as an incentive to recall Davies.

Speaking to ExaminerLive, Heckingbottom responded to questions asking if Davies could return: “Yeah of course, but we want to keep the loan players.

“We think we are a good place for our loan players to come and be in a good group, get game time, push and hopefully climb the league.

“A lot of that is out of our control. They are not our players. We’re happy with them, they are happy with the club so hopefully we can keep that going forward.

“If I’m a young player who has gone out on loan, I’ve gone out on loan to play games, so if my team is going to bring me back as a back-up just in case I am going to have something to say about that.

“The player’s feelings will be considered without a doubt, but we’re the club that’s got no say on it, that’s down to the player and parent club.”

The rise in Covid-19 cases has led to specualtion that clubs are looking to increase squad depth, to prevent matches from being postponed.

As well as Davies, the Blades also risk losing Morgan Gibbs-White to parent club Wolves.

So far, no decision has been made regarding where the star players will feature in the second half of the season.

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Blades to recall youngster from Belgium

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom admitted there is a possibilty his side will recall 20-year-old Ismaila Coulibaly.

The Mali-born midfielder is currently on loan at Beerschot in Belgium.

However, Coulibaly has struggled for game time as the club sit bottom of the Belgian Pro League.

Speaking to YorkshireLive, Heckingbottom said on the situation: “We have spoken about him and possibly getting him in and getting him training and him being in and around us, as much for him as us as well.

“We have been speaking about that.”

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Sheffield United win race to sign highly-touted midfielder