Sheffield United: Manager Paul Heckingbottom identifies the players he believes are the future at Bramall Lane

Rhian Brewster and Iliman Ndiaye are “the future” of Sheffield United according to manager Paul Heckingbottom.

Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 9:00 am

The youngsters both started yesterday’s game against Luton Town at Bramall Lane, with Brewster emerging as the driving force behind a victory which saw United climb to 11th in the Championship table.

The striker, who became the most expensive purchase in the club’s history when he completed a £23.5m move from Liverpool 15 months ago, was on target for the third time in his last six appearances - producing a clinical close range finish before Jack Robinson completed the scoring.

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Brewster’s sharp turn of pace then forced Reece Burke to commit the foul which left referee Stephen Martin with no choice but to show him a red card just past the hour mark.

With six members of United’s starting eleven aged 29 or over, Heckingbottom knows he will eventually be forced to reprofile the squad he inherited in November over the next few windows.

“We have a big discrepancy haven’t we,” he told The Star. “We’ve got lots of experienced older players who know what it’s about. Then we’ve got younger ones - who, yes, are the future, that we want to help get to that same level and beyond.

Iliam Ndiaye started again for Sheffield United, this time against Luton Town: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

“The senior boys are doing great and they’ll help the younger ones compete at the top levels.”

Brewster and Ndiaye, together with fellow 21-year-old Jayden Bogle, look set to become key figures in the team Heckingbottom is convinced can still qualify for the play-offs despite its chequered start to the season. Rhys Norrington-Davies, aged 22, has also been assimilated into United’s senior squad this term.

Rhian Brewster celebrates his latest goal for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage