Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic has delivered a message to Daniel Jebbison, as the teenage striker prepares to depart on loan
Sheffield United have told Daniel Jebbison their decision to send him out on loan next season forms part of a plan to accelerate his journey into their starting eleven, as Sunderland spent the weekend locked in talks with the teenage centre-forward.
Jebbison wrote his name into the record books towards the end of last season, when his match winning strike at Everton saw him become the youngest player to score on their full Premier League debut.
Despite suggestions he could be handed a prominent role in new manager Slavisa Jokanovic’s team, a review of the attacking options at his disposal has prompted the Serb to take a different view. Rather than making sporadic appearances for United, who are set to welcome Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie back from injury shortly, Jokanovic believes Jebbison’s interests will be best served by enjoying regular first team football; preferably at League One level.
Although a number of other clubs are known to have made enquiries, Lee Johnson’s side are at the front of the queue for the 18-year-old signature.
Rather than being a slight on his character, Jebbison has been informed it is actually a measure of Jokanovic’s belief in his potential that he is taking this step. With United hoping to regain PL status at the first attempt after being relegated back to the Championship, the former Yugoslavia international is expected to task experienced professionals such as Sharp, McBurnie, David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset with spearheading the push for promotion, while record signing Rhian Brewster must also be accommodated.
But after observing him in training over the course of the past month, Jokanovic and his coaching staff have concluded Jebbison has what it takes to lead United’s line for many years to come.
Sources at Bramall Lane told The Star last night that the Stadium of Light is Jokanovic’s preferred destination for Jebbison, although he is willing to listen to proposals from others chasing his signature.
Like United, Lee Johnson’s side are expected to go up after being beaten in the League One play-offs last season. That, coupled with the fact that representing a club of Sunderland’s stature comes with added responsibilities, has seen Jokanovic conclude a spell on Wearside would prove hugely beneficial for Jebbison.
After making his first senior appearance as a second-half substitute against Crystal Palace in May, Jebbison went on to make three more appearances under caretaker Paul Heckingbottom.
"He’s got everything that you need – power, pace and he can clearly finish,” Heckingbottom said following Jebbison’s exploits at Goodison Park. “But he’s also got a lot to learn, which I think everyone understands given the age that he’s at.”
Born in Canada, he entered United’s youth system when his family moved to England and has since been capped by the Three Lions at under-18 level.
However, Canada have made no secret of the fact they want Jebbison to switch his allegiance back to The Canucks, after head coach John Herdman studied his performances towards the end of the previous campaign.