Things haven’t been easy for Jack Robinson since signing for Sheffield United 18 months ago.
Robinson arrived at Bramall Lane from Nottingham Forest in January 2020 as backup to Jack O’Connell.
At the time of his arrival the Blades were impressing in their first Premier League season in 12 years.
With O’Connell at the heart of that success, Robinson had to wait until post-lockdown for his first league appearance.
However, the start of this campaign looked to be the 27-year-old’s opportunity.
The news that O’Connell would likely miss the rest of 2020/21 after having knee surgery presented Robinson with an opportunity on the left side of defence.
Yet as United struggled for form, so did the centre-back. Several other players were tried in the role as a result.
Robinson was then injured at the end of last year and had to wait until last weekend for his first game of 2021.
Jack Robinson showing his best for Sheffield United
Despite so long out, Robinson didn’t miss a beat at Everton. In fact, he arguably gave his best performance in a Blades shirt as they won 1-0 at Goodison Park.
The Liverpool academy product drove forward as an overlapping centre-back and set up Daniel Jebbison for the winner.
Robinson played the full 90 minutes and then repeated the feat just three days later at Newcastle United.
“He’s come back in and it’s a credit to how hard he’s worked with the medical staff and himself in training, that he managed to last 90 minutes and then 90 minutes again three days later.”
Heckingbottom continued: “He’s added a calmness, he competes well. He’s looked after himself, so he’s been fit enough and strong enough to play in Premier League games.
“He knows the role, he’s known it before. We’re still encouraging those players to get forward.”
United will be back playing in the Championship next term following relegation.
It’s a division Robinson knows well, having played 170 times for the likes of Forest, QPR and Huddersfield Town.
With doubts still remaining over O’Connell’s fitness and recovery time, this could finally be his opportunity for regular game time in South Yorkshire.