Sheffield United’s first campaign under the stewardship of Slavisa Jokanovic has been something of a slow burner so far as the Serb gets comfortable in the Bramall Lane hotseat.
Tinkering with different systems and looking to bring in fresh faces has clearly been at the forefront of the former Watford and Fulham man’s thinking and as of yet he has only tasted one single success which came in the form of a narrow Carabao Cup win over League Two Carlisle United.
This paired with an opening day loss to Birmingham City and frustrating 0-0 draw away at Swansea suggests that it will take time for the Blades to get used to the way that their new manager wants to play.
Jokanovic is yet to have named an unchanged side since taking over and is seemingly trying to work out what the best starting eleven is to employ moving forwards, with various players dropping in and out of the team each game.
It doesn’t take a genius to notice that Sheffield United are extremely top heavy, with the Blades boasting an embarrassment of riches in the final third.
Experienced campaigners such as Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick sit alongside the likes of Ollie McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Rhian Brewster, Oliver Burke and Daniel Jebbison, with this plethora of players usually battling for just two striking berths up top.
Something clearly has to give and it appears that preparations are already underway to decrease the amount of forward options at Jokanovic’s disposal.
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Jebbison is seemingly the man who is set to make way, with the youngster having been linked with a loan move to either Sunderland or Burton Albion as the Blades look to further accelerate their breakout star’s development.
Indeed keeping the Canadian in the Steel City would make little sense in the grand scheme of things, with the club’s more experienced options sure to keep his regular game time to a minimum.
Add to the fact that the 18-year-old now has the chance to learn under one of two experienced footballing minds in both Sunderland’s Lee Johnson and Burton’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and it appears that this proposed loan spell away from the confines of Bramall Lane could be even more of a no brainer than was first thought.
Both League One clubs are however said to be somewhat put off by the loan fee that the Blades are willing to let their young talent go for, with the Championship side running the risk of scuppering a deal altogether.
A move to Sunderland would allow Jebbison to experience a high pressured environment for the first time and in turn allow him to play at a level which will pit him against sides which have varying styles of play.
Denying a young player the chance to really develop himself at a senior level for the sake of a loan fee wouldn’t make much sense and it would certainly be an unwise move from the Blades.