David Brooks says his only target this season is earning a place in Sheffield United’s starting eleven.
The youngster, whose performances have attracted rave reviews this summer, is expected to be handed another opportunity to stake his claim when Chris Wilder’s side play the penultimate friendly of their warm-up programme against Stoke City tomorrow night.
Although United deny receiving an approach for the England under-20 international’s services - Premier League club Everton recently dismissed reports they had submitted a bid - his progress since being named player of the tournament in Toulon last month has won admirers both inside Bramall Lane and beyond.
But Brooks told The Star: “My target is to try and get in the team for the first game of the season. That’s what I’m totally focused on. Everyone else in the squad will say exactly the same. Basically, I just want to play as many games as I can and try and build on last year. To do that, I’ve got to work hard and always try to improve.
“I love it here at Sheffield United and, the same as all the other lads, my aim is to play as often as possible and help the club do well.”
Brooks, aged 20, had been set to join Chesterfield on loan ahead of the forthcoming Championship campaign until Wilder vetoed the move. Although United hope to unveil Oxford’s John Lundstram as their sixth close season signing later this week, Wilder’s on-going search for attacking reinforcements could see Brooks handed a prominent role when his squad returns to competitive action in 12 days time.
“It was nice to be given the chance but now I’ve got to try and repay that faith and show we he (Wilder) did it,” Brooks added.
“To get in the team, I’ve got to do better than some very good players but everyone understands, at this stage of the season, that’s how it is. Working with the first team (last season) really taught me a lot, working with really good players, day in and day out.”
Meanwhile, United face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the knee injury Simon Moore sustained during last week’s visit to Rotherham. The goalkeeper left New York Stadium on crutches after appearing to fall awkwardly following a routine clearance and was scheduled to undergo a scan over the weekend.
Rochdale are the latest club to express an interest in Matt Done, who has been told he can leave United this summer.