Born in Chesterfield, impressed Guti and an £150,000 bounty on his head at 15 - who is Zak Brunt, the latest Sheffield United starlet?

Zak Brunt, the Chesterfield-born youngster, has again been included in the Sheffield United squad for tonight's crunch Premier League clash against West Brom.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 5:22 pm

With no new players signed in January, Blades boss Chris Wilder's squad has been further depleted by injuries - leading to Brunt and fellow youngster Iliman Ndiaye being named on the bench for tonight's game against the second-bottom Baggies at Bramall Lane.

Born in November 2001, Brunt has started eight games for the Blades' U23s this season and has registered five goals.

He has been involved in the squad before, making the bench for the Carabao Cup game at Burnley in September.

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And for a player born just down the road from United, his route to Bramall Lane was a complex one - as detailed in the journalist Michael Calvin's book, No Hunger in Paradise.

Brunt trained with United when he was a youngster, but after spells at clubs such as Aston Villa, Manchester City and Manchester United, Brunt and his father Glen grew disillusioned with the English youth set-up and flew to Spain.

There he caught the eye of Atletico Madrid - and the former Real Madrid star Guti - but was unable to sign for Atleti because of Fifa red tape.

Zak Brunt of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

He returned home and signed for Derby County, who placed a £120,000 bounty on his head with other clubs interested.

"Unless you're the next Cristiano Ronaldo, clubs don't want to pay £120,000 for a 15-year-old," Brunt said at the time. So he dropped into semi-professional football with Matlock Town, before signing for the Blades and penning a professional deal at Bramall Lane last year.