Speed eyes De Laet stay

Blades boss looks to prolong stopper's loan deal

De Laet: Could stay with Blades

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Sheffield United boss Gary Speed is hoping to extend Manchester United defender Ritchie De Laet's loan spell.

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The Belgium international has appeared three times for the Blades since arriving on a temporary basis at the end of last month.

His most recent outing was in central defence in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Watford as cover for injured duo Chris Morgan and Kyle Bartley.

Manager Speed is hoping to prolong the 21-year-old's stay at Bramall Lane as the south Yorkshire side look to bounce back from three games without a win.

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"It's something we shall look at because he has had two excellent games for us," said Speed.

"Having said that I would rather have been playing him at right-back because that would have meant that our centre-backs were fit."

Morgan was a surprise inclusion on the bench against the Hornets despite a hamstring injury, and Speed admits the captain was primarily there to boost morale.

He added: "Chris wasn't really fit, but just his presence is crucial to everyone here and I think he will be back in training (next week)."