Ethan Ampadu or Phil Jagielka is Sheffield United's choice for key role against Leeds United

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder will decide between Ethan Ampadu and Phil Jagielka to make their first Premier League start of the season at home to Leeds United on Sunday.
OPTION: Ethan Ampadu could be in line to replace the suspended Phil Jagielka for Sheffield UnitedOPTION: Ethan Ampadu could be in line to replace the suspended Phil Jagielka for Sheffield United
OPTION: Ethan Ampadu could be in line to replace the suspended Phil Jagielka for Sheffield United

The Blades will be without central defender John Egan after decided not to appeal the Republic of Ireland international's red card for a professional foul against Aston Villa, despite Wilder believing Egan's marker Ollie Watkins was as guilty of fouling as the man who was punished for it.

Jagielka came in for Egan when he missed matches last season, and started the League Cup tie at Burnley in the critical central position in the back three. He was not on the bench on Monday so the more versatile Ampadu was given the job of coming into what had become a back four, and performed well in his first Premier League appearance since joining on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

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"Ethan comes into the picture, Phil Jagielka comes into the picture,” said Wilder of his options. “It opens it up for somebody else and I feel Ethan is going to play a big part in our season. It's Phil Jagielka's natural position.

“There are some decisions to be made, there always is.

"The performance levels against Wolverhampton Wanderers were okay, against Villa, for 80 minutes it's a difficult one to judge.

"I can't talk about playing three centre-halves, a sitting midfield player, two (other) midfield players and a ten and a nine when we go down to ten men after 12 minutes. The attitude of the team is good as expected. The discipline was good in terms of the shape, they never broke us down once, Aaron didn't have a save to make really, but there's certain things you get punished for in the Premier League that we need to tighten up on.

"You can't concede a goal from a set play because that's a level game at that time.

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"There are certain bits and pieces we need to tighten up on.”

With the exception of Lys Mousset, recovering from a toe operation, Wilder has no one else missing for the noon kick-off.

The Blades are looking to add another striker to their squad with their only goal so far this season coming from David McGoldrick in the League Cup. They have enquired about Liverpool's Rhian Brewster and Arsenal's Folarin Balogun.

"We've got targets,” said Wilder. “We need to add to that and the owners understand that. Everybody's investing and adding to the group.

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"We all had this opinion during lockdown that finances wouldn't be heavily invested into players and that notion's gone right out the window, really. Everyone's improving and it's important Sheffield United add to the group as everyone else has done in their relative way with what we've got to spend.”

The transfer deadline is at 11pm on October 5.

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