Sheffield United: Daniel Jebbison is told what he must do to earn a starting place

Daniel Jebbison, Sheffield United’s teenage centre-forward, has been forced to reacclimatise to life back in the Championship following a spell on loan with Burton Albion.

Monday, 14th February 2022, 4:00 pm

Having recalled the youngster from the Pirelli Stadium following an injury to Rhian Brewster, Paul Heckingbottom is facing calls to hand Jebbison his first United start since August’s Carabao Cup tie against Derby County when Hull City visit Bramall Lane tomorrow night.

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Jebbison has yet to make an appearance following his return to South Yorkshire; something which has disappointed supporters who expected him to be handed a prominent role in Heckingbottom’s team.

Explaining why he has yet to let the England youth international off the leash, the United manager told The Star: “It’s just the intensity levels, the standards and the speed of training, that he’s really noticed a difference with. Daniel himself will tell you that.

“We have a really good group here and the levels (in training) have really gone up. We want people to train how they play and that’s something we are really witnessing.

“There’s a really good group of players here. Players who are stepping right up and playing well.

“It’s a good test and a challenge for him. That’s one of the reasons - not the only reason but definitely one of them - that we wanted to bring him back as well. To get used to working with us again and getting the experience of doing that.”

Daniel Jebbison on his last start for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage via PA Images

After handing Jebbison his United debut during a spell in caretaker charge towards the end of last term, Heckingbottom's belief in the England youth international’s ability is a matter of record. But he has insisted Jebbison must “earn a place” in United’s side rather than expect special treatment.

Slavisa Jokanovic, who took charge of United following their relegation from the Premier League, placed Jebbison with Albion earlier this season in order to further his development.

Heckingbottom, whose side have prepared for the meeting with City ranked eighth in the table, thanked Jokanovic’s former Chelsea team mate Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for his work with Jebbison after exercising a recall clause in the agreement which took him to Staffordshire.

Chelsea legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink worked with Jebbison at Burton Albion

With David McGoldrick (thigh) now joining Brewster in the treatment room, that decision now appears inspired as United look to negotiate their way through one of the busiest periods in their fixture calendar. After facing City, United are also scheduled to pit their wits against Swansea City, Blackburn and Millwall before the end of the month.

“Possibly Daniel could get a chance,” Heckingbottom said. “It’s down to him and also the state of the game - who we are playing and how things are panning out. We take decisions based on all of those things.

“I’ve maintained all along as well, you have to be performing. Not only in games but also in training because people are pushing and trying to force their way in.

Daniel Jebbison during his spell on loan at Burton Albion: James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

“Daniel, like I say, has noticed a real difference. So that’s going to be good for him as well, that will really bring him along.”