Sheffield United boss sets Will Osula challenge as he considers repeating Derby transfer trick

Boss Paul Heckingbottom has opened the door for striker Will Osula to force his way into Sheffield United’s Premier League plans - but will consider another loan move for the youngster if he doesn’t.
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The 19-year-old striker showed both sides of his game after starting Saturday’s friendly at Chesterfield - pace, power and an eye for goal that marks him out as such an exciting prospect, but wayward finishing that showed how far he still is from the finished article.

Osula could have made way at half-time with a hat-trick but instead left Chesterfield clutching only his washbag under his arm, rather than the matchball. The best chance saw him stride clear but somehow place his shot the wrong side of the post, while he was denied well by Harry Tyrer once and should have beaten him another time but took too long to get his shot away.

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Osula has joined his Blades teammates on their pre-season training camp in Portugal and is expected to get another chance to impress during Wednesday evening’s friendly against Estoril. United’s coaching staff, particularly Jack Lester, are excited about Osula’s potential but are wary of stifling that by him kicking his heels on the sidelines, rather than playing first-team football - as he did last season at Derby County, before being recalled in January.

*The Star’s coverage of Sheffield United’s pre-season trip to Portugal is brought to you in association with Vertical Editions, a Sheffield-based company producing fine sporting books. Check out their range of Blades titles, including Legends at the Lane, at www.verticaleditions.com.

“You can see what Will is,” Heckingbottom said, “by how he got in those positions. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s still 19 at the start of the season. The next step is getting in the first team, and staying in the first team, and it’s important for Will that we get him that exposure.

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“Listen, I am hoping that is with us; because that would mean he is flying and doing great. But if not, we want to make sure we are giving him those opportunities.”