Sheffield United: Defender departs

Kieron Freeman has left Bramall Lane on loan '�2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

Kieron Freeman has left Bramall Lane on loan '�2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

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Sheffield United defender Kieron Freeman has joined Portsmouth on loan until the end of the season.

Freeman, who had been courted by Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock, has instead opted for Fratton Park where his Bramall Lane team mate Marc McNulty recently moved.

Nigel Adkins, the United manager, has admitted he must cut the size of the League One club’s first team squad after describing it as “bloated” before Christmas.

Freeman last appeared at first team level in November but found opportunities limited since John Brayford’s return from injury.

Confirmation that the full-back will finish the campaign with Portsmouth represents a major blow to Kilmarnock’s hopes of preserving their SPL status with Gary Locke, Adkins’ counterpart at Rugby Park, identifying him as a potential solution to his side’s defensive problems.

Signed by Adkins’ predecessor Nigel Clough, Freeman has represented United on 55 occasions, scoring three goals in the process.