Alan Biggs at Large: 'This is a big new season for Daniel Jebbison at Sheffield United"

Everyone present will recall Harry Maguire’s debut for Sheffield United and this column was among them.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 6:41 pm
Jebbison in relaxed mood as he arrives for training
Jebbison in relaxed mood as he arrives for training

Bloody hell, who’s this then?! Craig Bellamy almost certainly uttered something stronger as he was dumped on his backside.

People shouldn’t forget, either, the rarity of what followed that April night in 2011 as the future centre half of Manchester United and England instantly established himself as a Blades regular aged 18.

That next step, however great the raw talent, is seldom automatic - something we should remember in regard to the most recent Bramall Lane youngster to make a startling first impression.

Nobody is comparing Daniel Jebbison to Maguire and not only because they play at opposite ends of the pitch.

But there was something similarly refreshing in the way the young striker, 17 at the time, introduced himself.

Indeed, both debuts came against depressing backgrounds; Maguire’s amid a tumble into the third tier, Jebbison’s during United’s long-confirmed drop from the Premier League.

Maguire made 56 appearances across the promotion and play-off pursuit of the following season. Nothing of the sort should be expected of Jebbison.

But the Canada-born forward brought everyone to attention when he sprang from the bench in a 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace in May - and it wasn’t just the contrast he offered to a dire performance.

There was an instant assertiveness, a sense of belonging, an absence of fear as he really put himself about and got more involved in the game than practically any of his more experienced team-mates.

The gangly, yet quick, forward then scored the winner at Everton in a memorable full debut.

It’s a big new season for him, as well as the club under a new manager who has no qualms about promoting young talent. United’s options in the forward area are not so strong that he won’t be close to the action with an opportunity to shine.

And Jebbison’s confidence should be further lifted by his club’s proud record of developing top talent. Could he be another?