Southend United are delighted to announce the double signing of Zak Brunt and Kacper Lopata on loan from Sheffield United.
Both have signed deals at Roots Hall until January.
Brunt, 19, is an attacking midfielder, suited to the ‘number 10’ role, who joined the Blades from Matlock Town in 2018.
He has three goals to his name this season in U23 games and was on the scoresheet nine times last season.
His football upbringing has been well-documented – in the book ‘No Hunger in Paradise’ - having had stints at Aston Villa, Manchester City and Manchester United before being offered a youth contract by Atletico Madrid after a trial, something he was unable to sign due to FIFA regulations.
He returned to England and signed for Derby County aged 14 before dropping into non-league, due to a release clause, with Matlock.
Lopata, 20, is a 6ft 4in centre back. A Polish youth international with the U18’s, U19’s and U20’s, his career in England started out with Bristol City.
He moved to Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion in 2019, going on loan to Whitehawk in the same year and then joining Polish second division outfit Zagłębie Sosnowiec on loan. In August last year Lopata joined Sheffield United.
Like Brunt, Lopata played 90 minutes in both of the Blades’ Carabao Cup games this season at Bramall Lane, the win over Carlisle United and then defeat to Derby County in August.
On the two additions, Blues head coach Kevin Maher said: “I’m delighted to have them both on board.
“Both come highly recommended and from what we’ve watched. We’ve been inundated with players, but these are two that were known to us and we know what they can add so we think they can be great additions.
“Darren [Currie] knows them having worked with them, and a couple other people that we’ve spoken to as well recommended them, so we’ve done our checks, watched a lot of video. When you’re getting the right recommendations from the right people, and you follow that with your own eyes then I think they will be great additions for us.
“They play in areas that we identified we needed strengthening so I’m really pleased to get them over the line.
“They’ll be in with us tomorrow so we can assess where they’re at. I know they’ve been training and working hard so they will come into contention for the weekend.”
Lopata has been assigned shirt number 22 and Brunt number 33.