This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Southampton have joined the race for Sheffield United forward Daniel Jebbison, according to The Sun on Sunday (29/08, page 61).
Jebbison burst onto the scene last season, becoming the youngest ever player to score on his Premier League debut in a win at Everton.
He made four appearances in the Premier League last season, but his only appearances this season have come in the Carabao Cup and he is yet to feature in the Championship under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Now, Southampton are said to have joined the race to sign Jebbison, but would a move to St. Mary’s be a good one for him?
Absolutely, Southampton are a prime example of a Premier League club who regularly get their development of youth spot on.
He is at a stage of his career where he has to be playing regularly however, so I would suspect that the Saints plan to bring him in and loan him out.
He’s not ready to be playing at first team level in the Premier League and therefore a temporary move to a Championship side should suit him down to the ground.
On the other hand the Blades have given him a great platform since handing him his debut and that should be something that he should bare in mind before deciding where his future lies.
Things have certainly gone from zero to a hundred very quickly for this young striker.
Southampton can be an excellent destination for strikers, and for Dan Jebbison at this point of his career, it could be a smart move.
It would be no real surprise if he did not break into the first-team set up and was shipped on loan, however, choosing a club who will offer him enough game time would be vitally important.
He is a young player who has only just really been exposed to the first-team environment with The Blades (late last season), and whilst U23 football might be deemed the next best step, nothing beats the rigours of competitive action at senior level.
Jebbison is an extremely exciting talent who could certainly benefit from a move to The Saints.
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This is probably not the right move for him at this stage.
Southampton are still competing in the Premier League and with Sheffield United struggling for goals at the moment, Billy Sharp approaching his 36th birthday and other strikers potentially leaving Bramall Lane in the next year, he could potentially get his chance to shine in one or two seasons.
At this stage, he should be going out on loan to a club where he will play every week in a bid to impress Slavisa Jokanovic.
There might be considerable speculation surrounding him now, but first-team football has to be the priority at this stage and with the likes of Oliver McBurnie, Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick joining Sharp in the short-term, the Blades are likely to let him leave and get regular playing time.
You could argue all these options, combined with the fact Lys Mousset will also be returning at some point, could persuade Jebbison to move on if he can’t see a clear pathway to the first team. But a few of these forwards are likely to leave over the next year or two, making way for the teenager to make his mark.
The 18-year-old would be a good long-term signing for Southampton though and if he develops well at St Mary’s, there’s every chance he could be a Danny Ings replacement for the future.