Sheffield United youngster could make his Beerschot bow against Belgium's reigning champions

George Broadbent has been praised for choosing to join Sheffield United’s sister club Beerschot on loan until the end of the season, after impressing for the Premier League team’s development squad this season.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 11:30 am

The midfielder will spend the rest of the campaign in Belgium, where Herman Losanda’s side are currently sixth in the Jupiler Pro League table.

Broadbent, aged 20, becomes the second United player now at Losanda’s disposal. Ismaila Coulibaly was immediately placed with Beerschot, part of HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s ‘United World’ initiative after moving to Bramall Lane from Sarpsborg 08.

“George had a few options and chose to go and challenge himself in Belgium’s top league with Beerschot,” Jack Lester, manager of United’s Steelphalt Academy youth programme, said. “It’s great that he relished that challenge.”

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George Broadbent in action for Sheffield United's development squad against Sheffield Wednesday: James Wilson/Sportimage

“There are several of our young players loaned out to clubs at different levels,” Lester continued, during an interview with United’s official website. “And it’s great for clubs to want them in their first team and for the players to gain that experience.

"There he has the chance to develop further and we look forward to seeing his progression.”

Broadbent, who has scored four times for United’s under-23’s this term, could make his debut for the Belgians when Cercle Brugge visit the Olympisch Stadion on Wednesday night. However Sunday’s meeting with their city rivals Club Brugge, who make the journey to Antwerp on Sunday evening, could be a more realistic target because of the country’s Covid-19 quarantine procedures. The reigning champions have numerous internationals on their books, including Croatia’s Matej Mitrovic, Nigeria’s Emmanuel Dennis and former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Broadbent said. “It’s the first time I’ve played abroad and I consider it a big bonus in my development as a professional footballer. This takes me out of my comfort zone and allows me to grow as a player and a person.”

Beerschot's Isamaila Cheikh Coulibaly celebrates after scoring during a soccer match between Beerschot VA and KAA Gent: JOHAN EYCKENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

"I haven’t had a chance to go out much because of the mandatory quarantine,” Broadbent contnued. “But I’ve heard a lot of nice things about Antwerp and can’t wait to start exploring the city.”

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