“Space cadet” Will Osula has ability that could save Sheffield United transfer market millions

Highly-rated young star issued latest reminder of talents to help Blades to national final
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Sheffield United’s coaching staff are convinced they have a potentially “top” player on their hands in the shape of Will Osula, after the striker’s latest hat-trick helped the Blades’ U21s book their place in the national Professional Development League final yesterday.

The Denmark youth international scored his second treble in as many games at Bramall Lane to help the Blades hammer Bristol City 4-0 and set up a meeting with Millwall in the national final.

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Osula began the season on loan at Derby County before being recalled from the League One giants in January and had more than half an hour off the bench in United’s final game of their promotion-winning season at Birmingham City earlier this month.

Boss Paul Heckingbottom believes Osula’s performance in the Midlands showcased what the teenager can offer, and how much he has to learn. He had at least two golden opportunities to score his first senior goal in a Blades shirt, but attracted the wrath of skipper Billy Sharp on one occasion for shooting over when a square pass to the veteran was perhaps a better option.

“When someone gets on the ball with a chance to play forward, Will’s body language is so aggressive and he’s alive and alert,” Heckingbottom told The Star. “The rest of the time he’s walking around like a space cadet!

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“Me and Jack spoke to him before the Birmingham game and we have a good half an hour of footage to show him now.

“We have to be very careful that, when you’re working with young players and trying to make them better, it’s not just all about what they can’t do and what they can get better at. He needs to know why we love him and why we think he’s going to be a top player.

“He’s fallen behind Jebbo [teammate Daniel Jebbison] a little bit but not through lack of effort and he’s someone we can use. He showed what he is, showed his threat and what he’s got but also shows where he needs to improve.

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“He’s an absolute handful, but has loads to learn. With him and Jebbo, there’s a lot of talent there. But a hell of a lot of work for us as well.”

With Heckingbottom set to be handed a budget that, by Premier League standards, could at best be described as modest, Jebbison and Osula could be handed priceless opportunities to impress at the highest level next season following the Blades’ promotion to the top flight.

“Will’s brilliant off the shoulder and he’s a nightmare for a backline,” said Micky Collins, United’s U21 boss. “He’s such a bright player who can link play and they’re very hard to deal with.

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“Considering Will spent the first half of the season out on loan, his goal contribution in the 21s has been outrageous really and credit to him. Every time he’s played, he’s gone about it in the right manner. Instead of thinking that at the start of the season he was playing in League One, he’s come in and got on with it. And that’s what you have to do.”

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