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2 of Sheffield United’s most exciting youngsters: Is a first-team chance on the horizon? What do they offer?

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Sheffield United may have suffered back-to-back losses in the Championship but they are not in the mire as much as they were a month ago when they had failed to win in their first five league outings.

When United were struggling earlier in the season, many fans called for Slavisa Jokanovic to utilise the club’s youth more with more experienced players being favoured at the time.

One youngster has emerged from the shadows this season already in Iliman Ndiaye, who not only penned a new deal recently but has also scored two Championship goals for the Blades, whilst the highly-rated Daniel Jebbison has headed to Burton Albion on loan.

Let’s look at two more of United’s better prospects and evaluate if they have a chance in the first-team this season.

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Zak Brunt

The 19-year-0ld midfielder has had an interesting career so far, playing for a number of big clubs as a child and almost securing himself a switch to Atletico Madrid.

Brunt ended up at non-league Matlock Town in 2017 but a year later he was snapped up by the Blades – the club he had started at as a kid.

He’s yet to get many chances in the first-team although he made the substitutes bench for a few Premier League games last season, and whilst he’s yet to make a Jokanovic league squad this season Brunt played every single minute of EFL Cup matches against Carlisle United and Derby County.

Whilst it may be tough to break into the senior squad this season with the amount of midfield competition at the Blades, Brunt could be one to look forward to in years to come as a creative midfielder

Antwoine Hackford

Before Jebbison made his United debut at the back end of last season, there was another young Blades striker who was in and around the first team and that is Antwoine Hackford.

The Sheffield-born forward trained with the senior side in pre-season last year and on January 2 this year he was given a big opportunity when coming on for the final 10 minutes against Crystal Palace.

Jokanovic did not to use him in any of the club’s EFL Cup games this season but his lack of appearances for the under-18’s and under-23’s this season so far suggests an injury – Hackford did return to action just before the international break so a run of goals in the development squad could see him catch the eye of the Serb manager.

The striker has electric pace according to a Sheffield Star article describing his talents and that could be useful at the back end of the season should Jokanovic lose any of his senior options.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 of Sheffield United’s most exciting youngsters: Is a first-team chance on the horizon? What do they offer?

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