While Sheffield United sit top of the Championship table at the international break, it’s safe to say the injuries are more than stacking up.
Already without a number of first-team players, Paul Heckingbottom will be annoyed by the news this week that Bosnian defender, Anel Ahmedhodzic, has picked up an injury. Although silent on the issue so far, the Bosnian FA claimed Ahmedhodzic will miss around four weeks after dropping out of their squad this week.
The summer signing has been immaculate since arriving from Malmo. Already a fan favourite, there is genuine belief inside Bramall Lane that United have unearthed a real gem in Ahmedhodzic. Of course, his injury is just one of a number Heckingbottom is having to deal with.
Indeed, it is down the left side where Hecky is really struggling. Chris Basham has been filling in at left centre-back, while the likes of Ciaran Clark, Jack Robinson, Ben Osborn, Max Lowe and Enda Stevens all miss out injured. Rhys Norrington-Davies returned to left wing-back at Preston with Basham inside.
However, with Bash now likely to move back over to the right, could the door be open for teenager Andre Brooks to get his chance at wing-back? Given the lack of options, it could certainly be an option.
Andre Brooks Impressing Behind The Scenes
Clearly, the United backroom team feel there is a player in there with Brooks. Called back from a loan spell with Bradford PA, Paul Heckingbottom is well aware of the 19-year-old from his time with the under-23s.
A natural left-footer, Brooks is more than capable of filling in across different positions and given the left sided problems United are encountering, it’s hardly surprising to see he’s been called back.
But with Ahmedhodzic now out and United short on numbers, a door into the first XI could have opened. Brooks might well be tasked with filling in at left wing-back. That would allow United to bring Norrington-Davies back into the back three, while moving Basham over into his natural position as well.
Of course, there are risks in bringing Brooks in but at the moment, Heckingbottom might not have much choice. There is a hope, naturally, that others might be back. Jayden Bogle is back in training but is unlikely to be rushed in. Enda Stevens also can’t be too far away, given how long he has been out.
https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/andre-brooks/profil/spieler/746739But if duty calls, then Heckingbottom has shown in the past he’s not afraid of using young players and for Andre Brooks, this could be a defining few weeks in his young career.