Sheffield United the word ‘injury’ seem to go hand in hand this season and Oli McBurnie could be the latest to fall foul to a long-term problem.
McBurnie was just starting to put a run together in terms of being a regular in the Blades starting XI when a cruel foot injury ruled him out for the season. And according to respected journalist Alan Nixon, McBurnie could miss even longer and faces a race against time to be fit for next season.
Nixon writes how McBurnie’s foot problem is worse than first imagined. And while the big number nine doesn’t require surgery, his rehab programme is set to take three months, meaning the new season will be firmly in sight.
McBurnie has had a nightmare season all around really. Despite plenty of effort from the Scotland international, he hasn’t scored a league goal and has just a solitary goal in the league cup to his name. Despite the lack of goals, he is appreciated by his teammates, with Oli Norwood among those to sing his praises this season.
McBurnie joins a host of Sheffield United attackers on the sidelines with injury. Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick are both out, while Jayden Bogle is also battling to be fit for pre-season.
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Our View: Promotion Could Mean We’ve Seen The Last Of Oli McBurnie
United face a bit of a decision when it comes to Oli Mac. He’ll be into the final year of his contract when this summer rolls around and the goals record is hardly deserving of a new deal.
However, United did also shell out nigh on £20m for him, and the club won’t want to lose him for nothing. That means we either look to sell him this summer, or we tie him down to fresh terms and look to get more from him.
If United win promotion, there is a sense that McBurnie might be offered up. The club will need proven players at the top of the pitch and while McBurnie scored six in that first PL season, Heckingbottom might want even more firepower.
It would be a shame, of course. So many want the United striker to do well. But it’s getting to crunch time, and this injury doesn’t help anything.