Your columnist sides with Nigel Adkins on this one. Che Adams LOOKS like a player who needs to work hard in training. Dare I say, he does sometimes look like a player who hasn’t been working hard enough.
Importantly, though, he also looks unmistakably like a player; potentially a top player.
Like many in a Sheffield United shirt this season he hasn’t always produced his best. But there is little doubt that he can or that he will. Providing he shows the dedication required, judging from his manager’s pointed comments about working hard enough.
It’s an observation shared from outside.
“Looks to me like Che’s a bit top heavy,” a former Blades player of some standing remarked to me recently. Appearances can be deceptive but I have to say that’s
also been my impression.
Only the weights and measures people inside Bramall Lane would know for sure. If so, Adams needs to buckle down. There is plenty worth buckling down for.
He seems to have so much of what’s needed to become a top player, not least in having displayed his talent, and a confident temperament to match, at a very early age. Two goals in just over two minutes in a League Cup semi-final with Spurs was a startling statement from the teenager picked up from Ilkeston by former boss Nigel Clough’s scouting network.
After that, it’s not unusual for a youngster to go backwards before going forwards again. But even then, considering his patchy form this season, 10 goals in 33 appearances (up to last night at Southend, played AFTER the Telegraph went to press) is not a bad return for a lad who’s still only 19. He looks older - partly because of that sturdy, bordering on bulky, body.
With power and a fair burst of pace, not to mention the composed finishing he showed against Crewe last Friday, Adams has the traits to be a regular goalscorer. Certainly, his partnership with Billy Sharp – now that Adkins has them working closer together as a unit – promises much for next season already.
The pace is impressive if not pronounced. Maybe it’s in that area that Adkins’ warning can produce its best result. You don’t want to lose the power but a touch sharper and Adams can be the business.
Talking of which, the Blades’ “United Reunited” campaign met with a predictably muted response. Unlike the rightly appreciated cut in season ticket prices, slogans are often meaningless as words in place of action. But if this signals an intent to seal any fissures at the top of the club, and not just reconnect with supporters, then it will be closer to the mark.