Daniel Jebbison's loan move from Sheffield United to Burton Albion already paying off, as Hasselbaink predicts "big future"
Sheffield United striker Daniel Jebbison is already learning what it takes to be a top striker on loan at Burton Albion under boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, after the Blades history-maker scored his first goal for the Brewers on Tuesday evening.
After a run of six games without victory, Hasselbaink’s men returned to winning ways in beating Portsmouth 2-1 at the Pirelli Stadium – with Jebbison putting his temporary side two ahead with a neat finish into the top corner, after Mahlon Romeo was robbed of possession.
For Jebbison, who became the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his full debut when he netted against Everton last season, it was a first goal in Burton colours at the fourth attempt.
And Hasselbaink, a former top forward himself, revealed afterwards why he kept faith with the 18-year-old after Burton’s weekend defeat at home to Lincoln City.
“He picked the most difficult chance and he put it magnificently away,” Hasselbaink said.
“It was important for us after Saturday that he played straight away and got another chance. That’s what good strikers need.”
After signing on loan for the season with the Brewers, Jebbison revealed how the prospect of working under the 23-cap former Dutch international had persuaded him to move to the Pirelli after rejecting a temporary move to United’s sister club, Beerschot.
“Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is a manager who's played at the highest standard and we got on really well when we first had a chat and have lots in common,” Jebbison said at the time.
“I think I have a lot I can learn from him and that's why I thought coming to Burton is the best move as he can help to develop me as a striker."
The feeling is very much mutual. Hasselbaink recently described Jebbison as “a lovely kid… a real pleasure to work with” and believes he has the attributes to forge a good career in the game.
It was those same attributes that persuaded Everton to launch a bid, thought to be in the region of £5m, for the 18-year-old late in the last transfer window. It was promptly rejected, with Blades owner Prince Abdullah describing the England youth international as the future of the football club, but as The Star revealed, Everton are keeping tabs on Jebbison’s progress at Burton and may yet return with an improved bid in the summer if he continues to progress.
The Blades, for their part, are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past, including selling Dominic Calvert-Lewin to Everton for a bargain fee. Although the cash was invested well on the way to the Blades winning the League One title, Calvert-Lewin has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s best forwards and become an England international.
But Everton know their offer will become more appealing if United, still reeling from the financial hit of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent relegation from the Premier League, don’t regain their top-flight status at the first attempt.
"He's a lovely kid… a real pleasure to work with day in, day out,” Hasselbaink told YorkshireLive recently.
“We are hopeful to get all the best out of him. He has a bright future ahead. "It is refreshing to see him taking the next step in his career by wanting to develop himself and that's good.
"That means he has the right people around him, with his agent and family, but that also means that Sheffield United are thinking the right way.
"It's now for him to get developed and to take everything in and improve."
Born in Oakville, Canada, Jebbison comes from a successful sporting family. Dad Patrick is a 6ft 6in former basketball player of some distinction while mum Christine was a talented track athlete; brothers Jonathan and Micah were promising enough to earn trials with Wolves, Everton and the Blades.
Earlier this year, after his history-making goal at Goodison Park, Jebbison’s former coach Bassam Naim told The Star how Christine and Patrick asked his advice as to how they could maximise their sons’ footballing potential. Bassam’s reply was simple: “Move to England.”
They did just that, Jebbison was picked up by the Blades after being spotted at an organised trial event and the rest, as they say, is history.
"He has a lot of potential," Hasselbaink added. "He's learning the game. He's raw and needs to understand what his best assets are. If he does that and plays on that he will have a big future in the game.
"He has the posture and size for it, he's athletic enough and he can still be stronger.
"There are certain things that you can buy in football, but there are things you cannot buy. He's got the movement and majority of the time you can't teach somebody to smell where they need to be for a goal. He's got that. He's got pace, which you can't buy.
"He has a lot, he just needs to put them in the right place and understand when to take them out. That's a process that he is starting now and we are trying to help him to do that.
"He wants to learn, do the work and give 100 per cent. If you have those kinds of things your talent will always come out. I always say you can always have talent, but you need to have desire and hunger to want that talent to come out.
"He has that. He has a big chance."