Paul Heckingbottom has claimed that the signing of James McAtee has no impact on Sander Berge’s future with Sheffield United.
The 19-year-old has arrived from Manchester City on a season-long loan, much to the excitement of the United faithful.
The attacking midfielder is an exciting prospect from the Premier League side’s youth academy and has already earned his first appearances in Pep Guardiola’s side.
And the Blades’ boss has now also quashed any concerns that his arrival may spell the impending exit of star player Berge this summer.
The midfielder has attracted transfer interest this summer, but clubs are yet to meet United’s £22 million asking price, so he remains a Sheffield United player for the time-being.
“They are different players,” said Heckingbottom, via Sheffield Star.
“We expect more than Sander being just one of the boys high up the pitch.
“We moved Sander higher up and asked a lot more of him last season in combination with Iliman and Morgan (Gibbs-White) because of where we found ourselves with players.
“We had to try and create chances and produce performances in a slightly different way.
“We want James in to add more dimension and more options there.
“Whoever is on the pitch, we still have changes from the bench and its constant quality.”
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McAtee missed the team’s first game of the Championship season, which saw Heckingbottom’s side fall to a 1-0 defeat away to Watford last Monday evening.
The Blades picked up a comfortable 2-0 at home to Millwall this afternoon to begin their season in positive fashion on their home patch.
McAtee is a hugely exciting signing, but it makes sense that some would conclude it spells the end of Berge’s tenure at Bramall Lane.
Having both in the team could be quite a dangerous pairing in midfield, so holding onto Berge could be a huge boost to the team’s promotion chances.
But starting the campaign with two defeats in a row would be quite disappointing, which puts unnecessary pressure on this afternoon’s clash with Millwall.
Given the Lions will also be aiming to challenge for a promotion place this season, there is a lot on the line already so early into the new campaign.