Sheffield United have come a long way since the League One days of just over four years ago.
Gone are the days of begging and borrowing to get by and looking to pick up the biggest bargains we can to simply come in and do a job. The Blades now possess a squad which has a healthy dose of international players.
Sander Berge, John Egan, and Enda Stevens are all regulars for their country, while David McGoldrick has just retired and Oli Burke, Oli McBurnie, and John Fleck are regulars in the Scotland squad.
Aaron Ramsdale has represented England at under-21 level and is already said to be on the radar of Gareth Southgate.
Of course, fans are split on the internationals. Some don’t mind seeing their players strut their stuff on the biggest stage, while others don’t see the point in a lot the games…especially during a global pandemic!
But who is going to be the next one to emerge from the Blades squad and make an impression on the international stage? We’ve given it our best guess and prediction here.
Jack O’Connell is nearly there
The most obvious name in the current United squad is Jack O’Connell. In fact, barring injury, it would have been unsurprising to see ‘JoC’ given the nod by Gareth Southgate this term.
Obviously, the England boss has a bit of an odd way of doing things. His opinions on Jack Grealish continue to divide the masses, while last season he harped on about playing at the top level and his systems.
But England have deployed three at the back at times. Conor Coady has seen this play into his hands a bit, stepping into the fold after his fine form with Wolves.
O’Connell, then, would surely have been a shoo-in on that left-hand side of defence. Strong, powerful, and a player who has improved year on year, you only have to look at our form this season with him missing.
At 26, O’Connell should be coming into his prime years. The injury suffered this season has been a major blow to him and his hopes of forcing himself into the Euro 2020 (21) squad are now in tatters.
But time is still on O’Connell’s side. And if he can come back looking like the player he was before his operation, then there is nothing to stop the Blades star being the next international star at The Lane.