Paul Heckingbottom was given the Sheffield United manager’s job on a permanent basis yesterday. The Yorkshireman replaces Slavisa Jokanovic, who leaves after less than six months in charge.
Heckingbottom spoke yesterday about the current squad. In his comments, he spoke of players leaving, promoting youth, and ensuring everyone in the first-team feels like they have chance to contribute.
But who could be the big beneficiaries of Heckingbottom being appointed?
Well, we’ve listed the five Sheffield United players we think will be looking forward to seeing Hecky back in the managerial hot seat.
The young forward was put back into the under-23s last week and scored on his return. Having made an instant impact after signing a new deal and being given a chance by Jokanovic, his form has dipped slightly.
However, he’ll be encouraged to see Heckingbottom in the first-team dressing room. After all, it was ‘Hecky’ who gave Ndiaye his first-team debut last season.
If anyone knows how to get the very best out of Ndiaye, then it’s Heckingbottom.
Brewster has tried his best under Jokanovic. Often played out of position, there can be no questioning his attitude towards the game and his enthusiasm has actually been nice to see.
Against Reading, he put in a good shift and showed signs of being the number nine we all hope he can. Under Heckingbottom, the likelihood of United playing two up top is higher, and this plays into Brewster’s hands.
The youngster will be a better player for having worked under Jokanovic, there is no question of that. But he is a striker, not a winger. The ex-Liverpool man, then, will be hoping for some chances through the middle.
Osborn, in fairness, enjoyed a good spell under Jokanovic and was often selected on the left of the attacking three behind the striker.
But, it was under Heckingbottom last term that Osborn started to show the signs of life in an attacking sense that we’d not seen. The former Forest man was given license by Hecky to roam. And his energy seemed to rub off on the team
We all know Osborn isn’t going to create or score 15-20 goals a season from midfield. But his attitude and work-rate can influence others. It would be no surprise, then, to see Ozzie given a key role somewhere in Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United XI.
Paul Heckingbottom confirmed yesterday that Femi Seriki is back with the Blades after a miserable spell with Beerschot. This is good news all around, for both Seriki and the club.
Like Ndiaye, Seriki was handed his debut by Heckingbottom towards the back end of last season. He is highly-rated, and considered by many to be good for under-23s football already.
Until January, Seriki cannot play for United. But with Jayden Bogle and George Baldock two of the club’s more saleable assets, we could well see Seriki come into the fold in 2022.
While there is no point in cutting short Jebbison’s loan at Burton just yet, the young striker will be thrilled to see Heckingbottom back at United.
Another who was given his debut by the new Blades boss, ‘Jebbo’ blew coaching staff away at the back of the campaign. He scored a goal at Everton and made four appearances. This was before Jokanovic decided a loan move was the next best thing.
Certainly, he’s doing well in Burton. He scored a brace in midweek as well to further enhance his reputation. If Heckingbottom does move a few of the Sheffield United strikers on in January, then Jebbison might well come back into the mix early doors.