By Paddy Kenny

22nd Sep, 2021 | 7:00pm

Sheffield United handed 'massive' promotion boost by Stevens - Kenny

Paddy Kenny has claimed the return of Enda Stevens will be a “massive” boost as Sheffield United hunt promotion this season.

The former Blades keeper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 31-year-old would be “like a new signing”.

Stevens returned to the Blades’ starting XI for the first time since May in Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Southampton.

He netted the opening goal of the 2-2 draw with the Saints, with the Premier League side winning on penalties.

Stevens underwent surgery on a double hernia issue which kept him out of the start of the season.

The left-back was a mainstay for the Yorkshire outfit last term, with 30 Premier League appearances under his belt.

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Kenny admitted the Republic of Ireland star had been a “big player” for United.

He suggested his return would be a big boost to the club’s promotion hopes.

Kenny told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s played in that Premier League, he’s been a big player for Sheffield United.

“To get him back, I suppose it will be like a new signing.

He hasn’t played since the end of the season so to get him back, he’ll be like a little new signing.

“I’m sure he’ll play a massive part in pushing for that promotion spot.”

Stevens had not featured in a single one of Slavis Jokanovic’s matchday squads before Tuesday.

He has played a total of 166 times for United to date, with Tuesday’s strike his eighth goal for the club.

Ben Osborne and Rhys Norrington-Davies have shared left-back duties in Stevens’ absence.

In other news, Kenny has backed under-fire Sheffield United star to come good.