'A cracking lad' - An insight into Sheffield United new signing Callum Robinson, by journalist who knows him well from time at Preston North End
Sheffield United have signed a ‘cracking lad’ who ‘likes his banter’ in new record arrival Callum Robinson, according to one of the journalists who knows him best.
United broke their transfer record for the second time this summer last week, when Robinson arrived from Preston North End and signed a four-year deal at Bramall Lane.
The 24-year-old became United’s third summer signing, joining Luke Freeman and Phil Jagielka in South Yorkshire, but isn’t expected to be United’s marquee buy for too much longer – with Swansea City’s Oliver McBurnie and Neal Maupay, of Brentford, in United’s sights.
Dave Seddon, the Preston writer for The Star’s sister paper, the Lancashire Evening Post, described Robinson as a “cracking lad”.
“He’s a joy to interview; bubbly, smiles, likes his 'banter',” Seddon added.
“He had three loan spells at Preston from Villa; two of them in same season in League One. He was only a young lad when he came but steadily developed and signed permanently in July 2016, after his third loan spell.”
Preston paid Villa just £170,000 for Robinson, after his contract at Villa Park expired.
“He was used more by Alex Neil at Preston as a wide attacker in a 4-2-3-1 rather than as main centre-forward, but he can play down the middle,” Seddon added.
“When Simon Grayson was in charge, Robinson played out wide and also up front in a 4-4-2. If he was to play down the middle, he might need a bigger guy with him to play off. I couldn't see him playing as a wing-back in United's 3-5-2, but you never know.
“He scored a decent range of goals, mainly in the box. He scored a few headers but mainly with his feet and has pace, but he’s nippy rather than a sprinter.”
Robinson remains close to Jack Grealish from their days together at Villa – the two went on holiday to Ibiza together this summer – and both will be Premier League players last season. Robinson is a Republic of Ireland teammate of United stars John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick, and is eligible for Mick McCarthy’s side because his late grandmother, on his mum’s side, was Irish.
Robinson scored 13 times in the Championship for Preston last season, including one against United at Bramall Lane.
"Callum fits into our structure perfectly as we look to Championship players who we feel can be successful at Premier League level,” United boss Chris Wilder said.
"Callum is someone who was on our radar a number of years ago and he has progressed how we thought he would and hopefully there is plenty more to come.
"I feel Callum is a great age and what we have paid represents great value in the current market."