Sheffield United: New manager Paul Heckingbottom set to take a decision on Daniel Jebbison loan
Daniel Jebbison’s loan to Burton Albion will be reviewed in January Paul Heckingbottom has admitted, as Sheffield United’s new manager prepares to begin his reign at Bramall Lane.
Heckingbottom, who signed a long term contract with the Championship club when Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked yesterday, handed the youngster his first team debut last season during a spell in interim charge.
Jebbison, who is understood to interest Everton after scoring against them at Goodison Park earlier this year, joined Albion on the temporary basis following United’s relegation from the Premier League after it was decided regular first team football would accelerate his development.
But with Heckingbottom tasked with delivering a greater emphasis on youth - United’s official Twitter feed publishing a quote from a board member saying “Paul won’t be judged on what happens on a Saturday afternoon...He will be judged on how good the football department is” - consideration will now be given the recalling players like Jebbison, whose agreement in Staffordshire contains a break clause. Kacper Lopata and Zak Brunt, two more graduates of United’s development programme, recently completed short-term moves to non-league outfit Southend.
With Heckingbottom’s brief seemingly stretching beyond first team affairs, the former under-23’s coach said: “"We review it all the time. I'll be less involved in that now but we've used it very well, whether it be monthly youth loans or longer-term loans into the leagues.”
With Iliman Ndiaye emerging as a regular starter under Jokanovic, Heckingbottom added: "It's a good education for players, a good for them to realise what first-team football is all about because the hardest step is from the under-23s into the first team. A lot of players have had a taste of it, we need to see players stay in the team now.”
Heckingbottom, who enjoyed spells in charge of Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian before being hired by United, returns to the role he vacated last summer having replaced Chris Wilder on an interim basis. After considering appointing him on a permanent basis then, when it became clear Oostende’s Alexander Blessin would not qualify for a work permit, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy then asked Jokanovic to lead them back into the top-flight. But citing “results and performances” as a factor behind his dismissal - United are preparing for Sunday’s match against Bristol City 16th in the table - senior figures have now decided Heckingbottom is better placed to deliver the strategy they devised following the Serb’s arrival.
Former United and Scotland midfielder Stuart McCall joins Heckingbottom’s backroom team, alongside new head of player development Jack Lester. He was previously in charge of United’s academy. It has yet to be confirmed if someone else will be asked to fill that position or whether it falls within Heckingbottom’s remit.
Asked if the list of responsibilities he has been handed by United plays to his strengths, Heckingbottom said: “They’re things that are really appealing to me but it’s not really a different role. It’s just my input is probably a bit more wide-ranging across all domains of the football department.”