Sheffield United: Why former Arsenal youngster chose Bramall Lane as his next destination
Sheffield United are expected to sign former Arsenal teenager Sydie Peck, as the Championship club looks to consolidate its reputation as one of the best destinations for aspiring young footballers in the country.
Aged 16, Peck has spent time with both Brighton and Hove Albion and Cambridge United since being surprisingly released by the north Londoners.
But with Will Lankshear also trading the Emirates Stadium for Bramall Lane earlier this summer, the midfielder now also looks set to complete the move to South Yorkshire.
Although Peck will not be immediately considered for a first team role, working with their development squad rather than Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, both he and his family calculate United’s commitment to promoting young players could lead to opportunities in the future.
Although they were relegated from the Premier League last season, United used the final third of the campaign to blood the likes of Daniel Jebbison, Iliman Ndiaye and Femi Seriki. Ndiaye and Jebbison, who became the youngest player to score on his full PL debut, are both expected to push for places in Jokanovic’s starting eleven when the Serb officially takes charge on Thursday.
Speaking before relinquishing control in May, former caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom, who served as United’s under-23’s coach before replacing Chris Wilder, confirmed the recruitment policy set to be implemented by Jokanovic was designed to help home-grown talent.
“Whoever comes in, they’ll be ready to go straight in,” Heckingbottom said. “What we can’t do, and won’t do, is bring people in over the top of these lads who are just going to block their route through if they’ve shown they can be good enough.”
“What happens at every healthy club is that the best of the lads coming through are used to push the first team lads and challenge them,” Heckingbittom continued. “Then, if they go past them, great. If not, they’re still learning.”
Peck is currently without a club after parting company with Arsenal Lankshear, who signed scholarship terms with United earlier this year, made his first appearance for their under-18’s in February during a Professional Development League fixture against Nottingham Forest.