Brian Deane was singing the praises of James McAtee after the youngster scored a fine solo goal to put Blackpool to the sword on Thursday night.
McAtee raced clear from his own half before showing elite composure to slot past the Blackpool goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. It was the goal United needed as a cushion and in the end, proved decisive.
Deane praises McAtee
Speaking about the goal specifically over on SUTV after the game, legendary United goalscorer Deane pointed out a few things McAtee did during the goal.
Specifically, Deane seemed in awe of the technique the midfielder showed to finish the chance, pointing out that it was something that he wouldn’t have been able to do when he was playing.
“He got a bit of luck when the defender slips. But what he actually does is when he’s running up the pitch and the defender’s running after him, he actually cuts across him. So it makes it harder for the defender to get back. So he’s eliminated him,” Deane said on SUTV.
“Then it’s all about his technique when he’s running with the ball. The calmness that he showed. Basically wrong footing the goalkeeper as well. He’s got a small area to work with at the near post and it’s like he didn’t break his stride to stroke it home. That sort of technique is fantastic. If that’s me I’m having to shape up more. It was a wonderful technique. Very calm, very measured in everything he did. He looked like a fish out of water at the start of the season but look at him now.”
Sheff U News View: McAtee like a new signing
It’s clear that Paul Heckingbottom and the coaching staff put a lot of work in with McAtee over the break for the World Cup. He has come back like a new player and in a way, is like a new signing for United.
This is a massive bonus. As Deane says, McAtee had looked a bit lost at the beginning of his spell and to see him now flourishing is a huge positive.
Much like we saw with Morgan Gibbs-White last season, McAtee has those moments of quality few players in this division can produce. As it is right now, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet.
And if he can keep among the goals and assists, then it will take another player some serious effort to wrestle that shirt back off the City loanee.