It seems a long, long time ago that Daniel Jebbison was the talk of Sheffield United fans after scoring on his Premier League debut at Everton.
Jebbison, 19, has seen his career stall a tad since that memorable moment at Goodison Park. A productive loan spell with Burton Albion was cut short as United struggled with injuries last season. Since then, Jebbison has failed to really kick on and even saw Will Osula usurp him in the pecking order at the back of last season.
Many expected Jebbison to kick on this season. He did start the opening day defeat at Watford and played more than 20 minutes against Millwall the week after. However, since then, Jebbison has seen just 15 minutes of action and another injury curtail his progress.
But after Paul Heckingbottom confirmed Jebbison is set to be back training properly imminently, the Blades face a tough decision over what’s next for the teenager.
January loan for Jebbison could make sense
As it stands, United are just about right in the forward department. Oli McBurnie is playing well, Billy Sharp got his first goal of the season against Huddersfield, and Iliman Ndiaye is a superstar. Add in a sprinkle of Red Khadra from the bench and attacking midfielders like Sander Berge and James McAtee in behind, and Paul Heckingbottom’s options are plentiful.
Of course, Jebbison does offer something different to all those. In fact, of all those names, he is arguably the one who can run in behind and stretch a defence the best. The problem for ‘Jebbo’ comes in getting those opportunities.
We already saw at the weekend how strong United’s bench was. And that was without having the likes of John Fleck, Jack Robinson and Tommy Doyle included as well. It goes without saying that the quality in his United squad runs deep.
For Jebbison, then, a loan move – with an option to recall – could suit everyone in January. It gives the player himself a chance at getting minutes and goals. For United, it allows them to see where Jebbison is at right now and if he can play a part at all in the run-in.
Everyone at Bramall Lane wants Daniel Jebbison to do well and fulfil his potential. But to do that, a move away might be required. January, then, could be a key stage in the youngster’s career.