Sheffield United are famed for having a brilliant academy and if promotion isn’t achieved, Paul Heckingbottom could be forced to make the most of it next season.
Having already produced players for the first-team this season in the form of Daniel Jebbison, Iliman Ndiaye, Femi Seriki, Will Osula and Kyron Gordon, more are set to knock on the door soon.
With another season in the Championship a distinct possibility and a tight budget, here’s FIVE academy products Sheffield United will look to turn to next season.
It’s no secret that Peck is admired by the coaching staff at Sheffield United. He’s already been involved in first-team sessions and has impressed for the 18s and 23s.
Peck has caught the eye with a number of fine long-range goals this season too. The former Arsenal youngster is very much in the early stages of his career. However, United lack a creative and goal scoring midfielder, and a door could very much open for the teenager.
Polish youngster Lopata is probably as close to being involved as anyone from the youth set up. Lopata has enjoyed a good loan spell with Southend this year and is back at Bramall Lane.
With uncertainties over the futures of a number of United’s defenders, there is a high chance we see Lopata involved next year.
If it’s goals Sheffield United are looking for next season, then they needn’t look no further than Will Lankshear.
Another former Arsenal prospect, Lankshear has been simply outstanding in front of goal this season. He’s captained the under-18s to success. The striker has rattled in 18 goals and there is more to come.
Of course, he still a baby at 17. But if United do want that poacher in and around the squad, then Lankshear is very much someone Heckingbottom could turn to.
Another player to get a call to first-team training this season under Hecky, Ayari is one of the academy players who’s produced eye-catching moments.
The Tunisian youngster has already been recognised by his country at under-20s level and there is thought to be a buzz around him at Bramall Lane and Shirecliffe.
Ayari is a player who might well benefit from going on loan – as will a lot of the youngsters – but there is no doubting United have a serious attacking talent on their hands here.
Arguably the player most likely to make the step up quickly, Arblaster is yet another to get first-team experience this season. He’s already been singled out by Paul Heckingbottom, with the Blades boss insisting he sees Arblaster as a future Sheffield United first-teamer.
The big step for Arblaster now is to see if he can have a good pre-season and make an impact. At the moment, he’s up against some top midfield talent. However, some of those could leave, especially if promotion isn’t achieved, and Arblaster might be able to seize his moment.