Oli McBurnie's season is over but Chris Wilder hopes his Sheffield United career is not

Oli McBurnie's season is over, but manager Chris Wilder hopes his Sheffield United career is not.

The Blades' six-goal Premier League top-scorer injured his groin in the 4-1 defeat to Burnley, when he was captain in the absence of the injured John Egan, Chris Basham and Jack Robinson.

That he will not feature in Saturday's game at Newcastle United – which could see their long-expected relegation from the Premier League confirmed – or the following three matches has added significance. The Leeds-born forward is out of contract in the summer, and had not been shy in making it known how much he would love to play for Rangers.

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Wilder, who signed McBurnie in 2019, hopes his Bramall Lane career is not over yet.

INJURY: Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnieINJURY: Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie
INJURY: Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie

“Oli McBurnie’s out for the season,” he confirmed. “It's a massive blow for us but it goes alongside situations we've had all season.

"He's been to see a specialist and doesn't need surgery but that's the end of his season. He's another big one missing from a leadership and experience point of view."

It is that leadership Wilder is keen to keep in a squad too light on it this season.

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"I hope so and I think if you talk to the boy, I’d like to think that he sees his future here as well," says Wilder, who made 20-year-old midfielder Oliver Arblaster the club's seventh captain of the season in Wednesday's 4-2 defeat at Manchester United.

"There’s a lot of talking to be done with Oli and his agent, we have to make sure first and foremost we get him back medically healthy and fit.

“He’s someone who I’d like to have around the place – one of those culture-carriers, good in the changing room and a good example to the younger players.

"Hopefully we come to an agreement and he has a really good pre-season because pre-seasons can be massive for everybody, to set the standard from an attitude point of view and be physically really set up.

"There’s a lot of talking to be done before that.”

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Manchester City loanee James McAtee is a doubt after sustaining an injury at Old Trafford. Jayden Bogle is expected to face Newcastle despite also coming off.

“Jayden was precautionary, but McAtee wasn’t," explained Wilder. "He went for a scan. Fingers crossed he's okay.”

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