Sheffield United’s loaned-out defender Ben Heneghan is attracting Championship interest following an impressive loan spell at Blackpool.
The centre-back is currently spending the season on-loan from Sheffield United at Bloomfield Road and is impressing under manager Simon Grayson. The Tangerines are currently sat 10th after no wins in five league games, but they remain just two points outside the play-offs after their New Year’s Day defeat to Rotherham.
Ben Heneghan is currently in his second season at Blackpool on-loan from the Blades, making 69 appearances for the side, while he has only ever made one for Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, coming in the FA Cup back in the 2017/18 season.
Football Insider are now reporting that Championship trio Wigan Athletic, Luton Town and Blackburn Rovers are all keen on signing him from the Premier League club after his contract expires in the summer, meaning he is available for nothing at the end of the season.
With a decision needing to be made come the end of the season, we take a look at what Heneghan must consider before signing for any of these clubs…
Which club is the best move?
If Heneghan is set on clinching a move to the Championship with any of these clubs, his first decision is which club he should move to and why that would be the smartest move.
It is hard to predict at the moment who is going to be relegated from the Championship this season but two out of these three teams appear to be the outstanding candidates to face the drop come May.
Those two that aren’t safe are Luton Town and Wigan Athletic, who currently both sit in the bottom three, 24th and 22nd respectively. Meanwhile, Blackburn Rovers are sat in a respectable 13th after a very solid unbeaten run recently lifted them away from danger.
It seems most likely that Tony Mowbray’s Rovers side is the club that will be playing their football in the second division next year compared to the other two, and that could be something that massively sways Heneghan’s choice.
Are Blackpool in with a shout?
Having played the best football f his career so far at Blackpool, they will surely be keen to see him stay at Bloomfield Road beyond this season on a permanent basis.
Grayson’s lower-league recruitment has always been impressive and he may have unearthed another gem from Sheffield United. At 26-years-old, this Blackpool stint over the past 18 months has been his first regular stint of senior football in the Football League and he could want to repay the club’s faith in him by staying after his loan expires.
There is no reason why Blackpool can’t put a run together and force their way into the Championship next season, meaning he won’t need to move elsewhere to play at that level.
Is he guaranteed to play at other clubs?
Having spent more than time in the Championship with the Blades, Wilder was clearly not that keen to give him minutes in defence, regardless of their league position, meaning who’s to say he would be guaranteed regular playing time at these potential suitors?
At Luton Town, the defence is relatively settled and is one of the reasons they got to the second division, however, their inability to defend as well as their rivals is a key reason in why they are rock bottom.
Wigan have struggled with defensive injuries and suspensions this season meaning they have had to deploy Kal Naismith at centre-back alongside Cedric Kipre, so Paul Cook could be eager to bolster his options in the centre of defence. Blackburn have struggled with major defensive injuries too, as Darragh Lenihan was ruled out for a couple of months with a knee injury, along with Greg Cunningham being ruled out for the season. Tosin Adarabioyo’s loan expires in the summer, opening the door for Heneghan to fill that gap for Tony Mowbray.
The main factor here is that he knows he is guaranteed playing time under Grayson, but the defensive options in the division above definitely give him food for thought over a move.