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Sheffield United transfer revelation emerges on 22-year-old

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Sheffield United forward Iliman Ndiaye was heading for the exit door at the time of current manager Paul Heckingbottom’s arrival, according to the latter who spoke to The Star.

The 22-year-old has been an integral asset for the Blades for parts of this season, scoring twice and recording an assist during his first Championship appearances of the season against Peterborough United after signing fresh terms at Bramall Lane back in September.

Initially, it looked as though the Frenchman wouldn’t be playing a big part for Heckingbottom, remaining as an unused substitute in his opening game in charge against Bristol City and then finding himself completely out of the matchday squad in the following match against Cardiff.

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However, he has found himself in every second-tier matchday squad recently and has become particularly important in recent games with Rhian Brewster, David McGoldrick, Billy Sharp and Oliver McBurnie all out at this stage.

Brewster, McGoldrick and McBurnie are all out for the remainder of the season and this could mean Ndiaye plays a big part for the Blades in a potential play-off campaign, with their top-six hopes being boosted by the 22-year-old’s winner against Cardiff City last weekend.

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the attacker though and Heckingbottom has even admitted he could have been moved on earlier this year.

Speaking to the Sheffield Star, the 44-year-old said: “Iliman was playing nowhere and was probably on his way out when I came in.

“He didn’t really fit the system that the club was playing. But we’ve all seen what he can do with the ball, you could see it back then.

“So we decided to move him, give him a slightly different role.”

The Verdict:

The Blades would have made a huge blunder in letting the 22-year-old go considering the Frenchman has clearly shown he can perform well at second-tier level and will only get better considering his age.

He may not start every week – but he can play both as an advanced midfielder and a forward and this versatility has proven to be fruitful with United enduring a major injury crisis up top, one that looked set to threaten their top-six chances.

Ndiaye has also built up a strong relationship with Morgan Gibbs-White and this has been crucial because it previously looked as though the latter would be combining effectively with Brewster with their previous time together at youth international level.

But with Brewster unavailable, Gibbs-White has needed a new partner and this is what Ndiaye has provided. That will only help the former to be even more effective than he already has been for much of this term, so Ndiaye’s impact will benefit others.

Whether he has the goals in his locker to take the Blades to the top flight remains to be seen – but regardless of this – he’s certainly not doing his chances of being heavily involved next season any harm at this stage.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sheffield United transfer revelation emerges on 22-year-old

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