Sheffield United: Morgan Gibbs-White has been a revelation but is told he can do even better
Morgan Gibbs-White is yet to show his best form for Sheffield United, manager Slavisa Jokanovic has insisted, despite describing the on-loan midfielder as a “Premier League player” competing in the Championship.
The 21-year-old has reinvigorated United’s attack since arriving on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and further embellished his reputation with another impressive display during Saturday’s win over Hull City.
Speaking after the match, which saw United stretch their unbeaten run to four games, Jokanovic acknowledged Gibbs-White’s contribution not only to his team’s victory at the MKM Stadium but also their results against Peterborough and Preston North End en route to East Yorkshire.
However the Serb, whose side enters tomorrow’s Carabao Cup tie with Southampton having scored 11 times in its last three outings, told The Star the youngster has only shown glimpses of the potential which prompted Conor Coady, his captain at Molineux, to label him “fantastic” before making the move to Bramall Lane.
“He (Gibbs-White) is one of our very talented individuals,” Jokanovic said. “He is very talented in fact and is a Premier League player.
“He is a guy already with good experience and is coming here, looking for space on the field. We have been able to give him that space and he is competing with the group and also supporting it.
“He has the characteristics that we want and, more or less, is showing the things that we want.
“The sensation I have with Morgan is very positive. But football is not one game and it is not one week. Morgan has 15 years ahead of him (in football) and so he must look to improve and get even better, which we are sure he will.”
After converting one of the six goals United scored as they thrashed Darren Ferguson’s side on his debut for the club, Gibbs-White, who was also on target during the draw with North End, claimed his second assist in three outings by creating Billy Sharp’s effort at City. With John Egan later turning home twice from Conor Hourihane corners, United took their tally this month to 11. They had netted only once in five Championship fixtures before unveiling the former England under-21 international.
“Morgan has really made a very good job from his first week with us,” said Jokanovic, after watching Keane Lewis-Potter score a late consolation for Grant McCann’s team. “He is a guy with a goal and with quality. He has the characteristics to turn (and operate) in between the lines. This is what we miss. He is an important player for us in the last week. I believe he can grow-up even more though, certainly.”
Despite the impact Gibbs-White has made, Jokanovic, together with Rafa Cristobal and Marco Cesarini, United’s heads of performance and medical services respectively, will continue to monitor his fitness closely ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Derby County. Injuries curtailed Gibbs-White’s progress during a spell on loan with Swansea City last term and his durability has previously been a source of concern at Wolves, although there are no question marks about the player’s professionalism.
“We must all look to build and get better,” Jokanovic said. “All of us, including Morgan and he can.”