Paul Heckingbottom's Daniel Jebbison contract revelation will delight weary Sheffield United fans
The realisation that he was a Premier League goalscorer at the age of just 17 had barely sunk in for Daniel Jebbison when the Sheffield United youngster was being linked with some of Europe’s leading football clubs.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund… it reads like a who’s who of football luminaries, and United fans weary from years of seeing the family silver being sold off will be forgiven for another resigned sigh.
But those fears may be allayed a little by the words of caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom who oversaw much of Jebbison’s United development in his role as United’s U23 manager and who gave him his full debut at Everton on Saturday evening.
Speaking after Jebbison netted the winner at Goodison Park, converting Jack Robinson’s excellent cross to become the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his full debut, Heckingbottom revealed: “Jebbo’s one we’ve got tied down, along with a few other young players who we’re really pleased with, and that’s credit to all the work that’s been going off behind the scenes with the academy.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t tell you when the next debut is going to be, I can’t tell you who the next player you’ll be asking questions about, but I’m confident there are a few there that will have debuts for Sheffield United and much more than that.”
Still two months shy of his 18th birthday, Jebbison was only 197 days old when David McGoldrick – his strike partner at Goodison Park - made the first professional appearance of his career in 1994.
The youngster received a spine-tingling reception when he finally returned to United’s portacabin dressing room after completing his post-match media duties, and Heckingbottom added: “The reason why we picked Daniel is that we know he knows where the goal is.
“He knows he has to get in between those goal posts and, if he does that, then the rewards will come. And that’s what he does - he shows that energy and that desire to get into the right positions, which for me is great to see.”