Sheffield United sign Manchester United youngster Riley

(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)

League One leaders Sheffield United have added young Manchester United defender Joe Riley to their ranks for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old, who can operate across the backline and in midfield but is most comfortable at right-back, becomes Chris Wilder’s third signing of the transfer window.

The loan signing of Riley has been in the pipeline for several weeks as Wilder continues to add quality depth to his promotion hunting squad, but the Blades had to wait for the youngster’s return to fitness after a hamstring injury.

Clearly happy that the move has finally gone through, Wilder told the club’s website: “Joe is a young player who is comfortable playing on both the right or left and that versatility will be important to us.

“We are delighted to have him with us for the remainder of the season and happy that Manchester United have allowed him to further his development here.”

Riley made his return to action on Monday night, when he completed 85 minutes for United’s under-23 team against Liverpool.

Riley has also made two appearances for the Red Devils’ first team, including a Europa League showing last season, and is happy he’s been given the chance to now play more regularly, saying: “When you hear Sheffield United are interested, you think massive club, great fans.

“I’m delighted to get the move done and start playing, now.

“If selected [for Saturday’s game against Gillingham] I am 100% ready.”

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