Paul Heckingbottom has issued a transfer window warning ahead of the summer market.
The Sheffield United boss believes the club should be focusing more on permanent signings this time round.
Last year, a lot of loan deals were struck with four players arriving on a temporary basis under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Charlie Goode even made that five loan deals when he joined from Brentford in January.
Those loanees will be moving back to their parent clubs in the next few weeks, with seven other United players also out of contract in June.
That means it will likely be a hectic summer for the Blades depending on any upcoming contract talks and discussions over permanent moves for current loanees.
Heckingbottom has warned that any more loan signings could simply be papering over the cracks, with permanent additions to the team now being an absolute must.
“From a purely selfish point of view as a manager you want the best possible squad, the best possible team,” said the 44-year-old, via Yorkshire Live.
“You want to be competitive but from looking after the club’s best interests and for the club to make sound decisions we’ve got key areas of the squad where we haven’t got enough of our own players.
“If you are forever relying on loans to plug those gaps, at some point you are going to need to sign a hell of a lot of players and it’s that type of succession planning that I am all on board with in terms of looking after the club so that in two, three years down the line you never find yourself in a situation where you have a really tough window or tough summer, or season.
“That’s the direction every club should be going in, they should understand all this and be really proactive in good planning.”
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The Blades are currently 6th in the Championship table, with a potential play-off place in their own hands going into the final two games of the regular season.
There are still five clubs below Heckingbottom’s team chasing that final top six slot, so United will need to win both their last two games to ensure their progress into the promotion shootout.
Up next for the Bramall Lane club is a trip to QPR on April 29.
With so much uncertainty around the squad, it is obvious why Heckingbottom would prefer permanent deals.
But the loan market can still be quite useful, just look at the impact Morgan Gibbs-White has had on the team this season.
There is a balance that can be struck, which United will need to quickly figure out to maintain their promotion chances next season should they not go up this year.
With Billy Sharp’s contract renewed last week, that may also be a sign of positive progress with extensions for the remaining players whose deals expire this summer.