Sheffield United hoping to repeat Kacper Lopata success as they eye move for 18-year-old non-league defender Miguel Freckleton

Sheffield United are reportedly eyeing a move for an 18-year-old former Bristol Rovers defender, currently plying his trade in the Southern League Division One South & West for Mangotsfield United.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:52 am

Miguel Freckleton has played only a handful of times for Mangotsfield, but has attracted attention from United as well as Southampton and Cardiff City.

He was on Rovers’ books as a youngster before leaving and enrolling at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, more commonly known as SGS and with a football programme headed up by former Leeds United boss Dave Hockaday.

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Kacper Lopata, the Blades defender who made his senior debut earlier this season, also progressed through the SGS system and Freckleton, a central defender, could be set to follow him to Bramall Lane after reportedly impressing in a behind-closed-doors trial game for the Blades.

The targeting of Freckleton certainly tallies up with United’s decision to focus on signing young players, in a bid to become self-sustainable, with former U23 boss Paul Heckingbottom promoted to first-team manager recently and former academy boss taking up a role as head of player development.

"My thing is identifying talent, recruiting that talent and then developing that talent to its full potential," Hockaday said in an interview with Bristol Live after being appointed SGS’s head of male football.

The Blades are going in a different direction. Pictured are CEO Stephen Bettis, chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa and director Abdullah bin Yousef Alghamdi at a press conference to unveil Paul Heckingbottom as the new manager of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"That's what I'm good at."

Antoine Semenyo and Saikou Janneh have also graduated from SGS to sign for Bristol City, while Dan McBeam is on the books of Barnsley – and Freckleton could soon become the latest SGS product to move to South Yorkshire if the Blades can land their man.