Jason Holt leaves Sheffield United as free agent

Jason Holt came through the Hearts academy

Jason Holt came through the Hearts academy

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JASON HOLT is leaving Sheffield United after the club failed to achieve promotion to England’s Championship.

The Hearts midfielder has been on loan at Bramall Lane since January but will not be signing permanently after discussions with manager Nigel Clough.

United intend to change their playing style following the midweek play-off semi-final exit against Swindon. They had first option to sign 22-year-old Holt as part of the loan agreement. However, Clough plans to recruit more height and power to try for promotion next season after what will be five years in League One.

Holt was not keen to stay in case he became a bit-part player and is one of several players now likely to leave the Yorkshire club. His Hearts contract has now expired and he has returned to Edinburgh as a free agent.

He scored five goals in 17 appearances for Sheffield United and would like to stay in England if possible. Holt would also consider offers from abroad and would not rule out playing in Scotland again next season.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sheffield United,” he told the Evening News. “It was an honour to play for such a big club and I really enjoyed working under Nigel Clough. If opportunities allow it, I’d have no hesitation playing for the club again in the future.

“I want to wish the players and the manager all the best for next season. I’d also like to thank the fans for welcoming me and supporting me through my time at Bramall Lane, and chief executive Mal Brannigan for helping me settle in so quickly.”

Holt is eager to join a club where he will be a regular starter, be that in Britain or abroad. He grew up in the youth academy at Hearts and feels his time at Sheffield United has earned him a good reputation in England.