Sheffield United 22-year-old Rhys Norrington-Davies is aiming to become the Blades’ first-choice left-back at Bramall Lane ahead of Enda Stevens and Max Lowe, as he spoke to The Star.
Welshman Norrington-Davies impressed at Luton Town and Stoke City on loan spells last term, making 38 Championship appearances combined and proving to be an important figure at both Kenilworth Road and the bet365 Stadium.
However, this season could prove to be more of a test for the left-back who will need to fight off the likes of first eleven regular Enda Stevens, Max Lowe who has a considerable amount of Championship experience and Ben Osborn who has also appeared on the left at times for the Blades.
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But with Stevens currently out injured, this could be the ideal time for the 22-year-old to showcase what he brings to the South Yorkshire side, after making his league debut for the club in their 2-1 loss against Huddersfield Town last weekend.
In a further personal boost to Norrington-Davies, Lowe is being linked with a summer move to Championship rivals Reading, Swansea City and Barnsley by The Sun (August 22nd, page 59), which could pave the way for him to receive more first-team minutes under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Speaking to the Sheffield Star about his ambition, the Welsh international said: “Coming into pre-season, I wanted to be number one.
“I’ve got to be patient and bide my time and take every opportunity that comes my way. I’ve got to keep on going, train well and take the chances when they come, as they did on Saturday.
“I like to get forward; I feel like I’m an attacking full-back. And when you go to wing-back, you do have that licence to get forward, with the defensive side of things in mind as well.
“In the final third we do need to get better, and that includes from me too.”
After waiting patiently for his opportunity at Bramall Lane after first arriving at the club four years ago, it’s admirable the 22-year-old is still willing to wait for a chance to make his mark in the first team.
Although the likes of Stevens and Lowe are very capable Championship players, Norrington-Davies now has experience with Wales at a senior international level and could have easily asked for a permanent move to another Championship team this summer.
He will now be hoping to push on in the absence of Stevens and make himself undroppable under Jokanovic, whether he operates as an orthodox left-back or plays at left-wing back. He can do both, which can only be a plus for the Sheffield United manager.
And with that, it can only go a long way in boosting his chances of receiving first-team minutes with the versatility he offers.
They might be struggling now but under a previous promotion-winning manager, things can only get better and he will take his game to a new level under someone of Slavisa Jokanovic’s calibre. And at 22, there’s still plenty of time for him to improve.