Former Hull City winger Cameron Stewart could be handed the chance to resurrect his career at Sheffield United.
The 25-year-old has had loan spells at Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley and Leeds United – having started out at Manchester United – but is without a club.
He is currently on trial at Bramall Lane, along with another former Old Trafford youngster Reece Brown, and both have impressed manager Chris Wilder.
United need competition for Kieron Freeman at wing-back, while Stewart would increase Wilder’s options down the flanks.
No emergency loans are allowed this season, but both are free agents, so available to recruit.
Former Barnsley defender Brown, 24, was due to have talks over a permanent deal yesterday, while Stewart played 90 minutes for the club’s Under-23 side at Newcastle United.
“We’ll be speaking with Reece today,” Wilder told The Yorkshire Post yesterday. “He’s done well, impressed us, and I’ve spoken before about the importance of having competition for places through the team.
“I’m not going to be sticking a gun to anybody’s head. But, like I say, he’s done well and so we’ll sit down and talk about something.
“Cameron is still here with us and he’ll play in a game. We’ll probably reach a decision on him at some point after that. We’ll see what happens there.
“Players can find themselves without a club for all sorts of reasons. They’ve both been given opportunities here and it’s a chance for one, potentially for both, to put their careers back on track.
“We tried to get another wide player in before the window closed, but we weren’t able to get anything across the line in time. That’s why we are taking a look at him, because that vacancy is still there.”
Wilder has been impressed with both Stewart and Brown, but insists free agents must graft to earn a deal.
Having worked in non-League and on tight budgets, the Blades boss has experience in turning around players’ careers. “It’s no good them coming in and expecting a contract,” he said. “They’ve got to earn a contract.
“We’re not a charity just to say anybody who walks in, because of your CV and your background, you can have one. The CV gives us an insight of where they can get to, but we work in the present.
“But I like a challenge. I’ve often picked up players that have found themselves out of favour.
“And, sometimes, it’s not their fault. It might be injury, a new manager not fancying them or a little loss of form.
“But I’ve never shied away from taking people whose careers might be at a crossroads.
“If it’s a trial, it’s a trial, don’t get precious about it. You’re out of work and looking for a job.
“Many players are precious about it and they are struggling to find clubs. We just say, ‘there’s an opportunity, try and take it’.
“There’s a few approaching us. It’s not loads and loads. We’re not inundated, but there are a few out there. There are a few who we felt could help us with the way we play and are of the right age.”
The Blades – who have won four successive league games to climb to sixth spot – travel to League One leaders Scunthorpe United tomorrow.
Four points separate them, with the Iron having been held 0-0 at home by Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening. Wilder was at Glanford Park and expects a tough contest tomorrow.
“They’ve had a great start to the season, but also got to recognise we are only four points behind them after our start,” he said.
“Everyone talks about where you are going to be after 10 games and we want to put ourselves in a good position by then. I went to watch them on Tuesday, it was a tight game and the opposition paid them a lot of respect.
“When we come into town, yes, players raise their games and supporters raise their voices. We have to understand that and deal with it. We just have to make sure we get the result we want. You have to recognise the opposition will have periods of the game and you need to see them out. But they’ll be looking at us too. It should be an interesting game.”
The Blades are hopeful that strike duo Caolan Lavery and Leon Clarke will be fit for Saturday.
Lavery has a sore ankle, but trained yesterday, while Clarke has had a scan on his troublesome foot/ankle.
Wilder confirmed: “Caolan will train with us and so he should be in the squad. He took a bit of a whack to his Achilles against QPR and so we brought him straight off.
“We didn’t take any risks, but he’ll be involved and we’re hoping he’ll be fine. Obviously it was a bit sore for a day or so, but you expect that to be the case.
“Leon is going for a scan and we’ll get the results back from that later. Hopefully, when we do, he’ll be okay for the game as well.
“He’s carried it for a while and obviously 19,000 or so people saw him wearing a protective boot last weekend. The scan is just so we can get to the bottom of what it actually is.”