Despite losing on their opening day of the seasons with a 1-0 defeat at Watford, Sheffield United will be going into this weekend’s game against Millwall with more of a boost following the loan signing of James McAtee.
The Blades did an impressive job to secure the 19-year-old this summer seeing off interest from elsewhere and given he is a highly rated youngster at the Etihad, this should be a great signing for the club.
It’s no surprise that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is keen for his promising midfielder, who also plays for England’s U21 side, to go and get some first team experience.
However, Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom has admitted that the youngster will have to work hard for his place in the side as he told The Star: “We made it clear that he wasn’t going to play unless he earns his place.
“He has to get in and show he’s worth it. We made it clear he’s not going to be involved if he doesn’t get in.
“There’s no point in doing anything else. I made this clear to James, if you get in and you aren’t performing then it’s not going to impact you so much. But it will be, because I’ll get sacked and he’s still here. There’s no point in him not realising what he’s got to do.”
Despite the tough attitude shown by the United manager, it seems as though the young player has bought into this as Heckingbottom said: “To be honest, we got good feedback from James about that.”
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This looks to be a really promising bit of business for the Blades and McAtee should do well for them given the promise he has shown so far.
However, Heckingbottom has shown him the right attitude so far because the youngster needs to come to the team with the attitude of working hard to earn his place and then keep his place in the side.
The fact the 19-year-old has responded well to this already suggests he has a good head on his shoulders and will be prepared to commit himself to the club this season.
If he can combine the attitude and showing his talent on the pitch then this could be a really exciting loan spell for both parties this season.