Neilson surprised to see Holt cut free by Blades

Jason Holt is now a free agent. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Jason Holt is now a free agent. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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ROBBIE NEILSON admits he is surprised Sheffield United rejected the option to sign Jason Holt permanently from Hearts.

However, the Tynecastle coach believes Holt will now be a better player after his loan spell in England as he looks for a new club. Holt spoke to the United manager Nigel Clough following defeat to Swindon in the Championship play-offs and both agreed it would be best for him to leave Bramall Lane. He moved south on loan in January but the Yorkshire club want more power and presence in their side next season.

The 22-year-old midfielder is taking time to consider his future amid interest from both England and Scotland. His Hearts contract has expired and he is free to join any club ahead of next season. Neilson does not expect him to be short of suitors after a productive period in England’s League One, where which he scored five times for United in 17 appearances.

“I thought Jason went down there and played really well but they’ve decided to go in a different direction. That’s football,” Neilson told the Evening News. “I’m a wee bit surprised they didn’t extend his stay at Sheffield United but that’s the way it goes. Jason is a really good player so we’ll see what happens over the summer with him.

“I had a chat with him last week when we sat down. He said it was like a different world down in England because of the demands on you as a player. Not just on the pitch, but the training side of it and the travel as well. You’re playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Wednesday almost right through the season.

“It was a great eye-opener for him. Jason’s played his whole career in Scotland so to go down to England and see what it’s like was great for him.”