SHEFFIELD UNITED: Cofie can lift Blades

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JOHN Cofie can catapault Sheffield United towards promotion next season, Harry Maguire insisted last night.

Maguire, United’s teenage centre-half, has first-hand experience of the on-loan striker’s talents having marked against him in the FA Youth Cup final a year ago.

Cofie, who arrived on loan from Manchester United earlier this summer, is expected to make his second appearance for Danny Wilson’s side when they play the opening match of their tour of Malta at Ta’Qali this evening.

And Maguire said: “John is going to be a nightmare for defenders, I’m absolutely certain of it.

“There’s nothing worse for us than when someone keeps running into the channels with the speed and power he does.

“Believe me, it’s not nice to come up against a striker who does that over and over again.

“John is a class act, make no mistake about it. I’m absolutely convinced he’s going to be a major asset for us.”

“We had a good chat when John came in,” Maguire added.

“It was good to meet up and have a laugh. It was great to see him.”

Cofie, who models himself on former Chelsea centre-forward Didier Drogba, impressed during a lively second-half cameo against Ilkeston last week.

However United manager Wilson could reward him with a more prominent role when the Blades face Zejtun Corinthians tonight.

United are also scheduled to meet Hibernians in Paola on Wednesday before returning to England 24 hours later.

Maguire’s partnership with Neill Collins was a driving force behind United’s march into last season’s League One play-off final at Wembley.

The teenager’s performances en-route to that penalty shoot-out defeat have captured the attention of several teams including Leicester City.

But Maguire is focused solely on helping United go one better this term.

“Neill and I will be even stronger now right from the start because we know each others games well,” he said.

“He’s been a massive help to me and we want to make sure we concede even fewer goals this time around.”