Sheffield United must ensure they axe Ryan Leonard before Friday’s deadline

Ryan Leonard has struggled to make an impact for Sheffield United since joining the club from Southend United during the January transfer window earlier this year, and Blades boss Chris Wilder must send him out on loan before the deadline on Friday.

What’s the word, then?

Well, after 27 goals and 15 assists in 265 appearances for Southend United and just general impressive play for the Shrimpers, Wilder brought the 26-year-old to Bramall Lane at the start of 2018.

He would have been hoping that Leonard could go on to be a key figure for the Yorkshire club, but instead many of his 17 appearances in all competitions so far have been cameo outings from the bench, and he was an unused substitute for the 3-0 win against Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium last weekend.

It is already looking to be in doubt whether the Devon-born midfielder will come good for Sheffield United given his lack of action so far, and a temporary move away may well be on the cards before the deadline on Friday with Millwall one of the clubs linked with a loan deal for him.

Why should they want to get rid?

The Blades are looking to be involved in the promotion race this term, and as things stand it doesn’t appear as though Leonard will play too much of a part of that aim.

Wilder would certainly be better off to admit his error of judgement in the transfer market and move the 26-year-old on now, which could even give him the chance to bring an upgrade on the midfielder in to boost his squad and hopefully be a first-team starter.

It may seem harsh in a way to oust Leonard already – albeit only on loan – but if the Yorkshire club want to be ambitious then they can’t afford to wait around for players to get up to the required standard.