The 22-year-old was one of the first names on the teamsheet for Sheffield United during the 2021/22 campaign after arriving at Bramall Lane last August, thriving under both Slavisa Jokanovic and the Serbian’s successor Paul Heckingbottom.
Recording 12 goals and 10 assists in 37 appearances for the Blades, he was a crucial figure in dragging the South Yorkshire outfit from the lower end of the table into the promotion mix, even scoring in the play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest to give them hope of getting to the final.
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In the end, United missed out on penalties but Gibbs-White is likely to make the step up to the top tier regardless, either with current side Wolves or another side with Italian club AC Milan also thought to have taken an interest in the Englishman.
Heckingbottom has even publicly admitted he would like to retain the 22-year-old for next season – but their failure to win promotion may have all but ended their chances of bringing him back to Bramall Lane.
And the Saints could be about to dash their hopes of a return further by launching an offer for his services, with the south-coast outfit reportedly willing to offer as much as £20m to lure him to St Mary’s.
Considering how well he did in the second tier, he could be a useful player to have in the top flight, though spending £20m on a player who isn’t that experienced at their level yet may be a risk for the Saints.
Their top priority has to be signing players who can keep them in the top flight for the long term and although Gibbs-White could be a great long-term asset, is he the type of player that can help Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side escape relegation? That remains to be seen.
For the Blades, they should be putting the 22-year-old way down their list of priorities at this stage because they will be outsiders to win his signature and they can’t afford to waste time on him whilst missing out on other players.
You can understand why Heckingbottom’s side will want to continue monitoring his situation because he was such a crucial player for them – but he is replaceable as long as they move quickly for their top targets.
The presence of Sander Berge should also provide some reassurance, with the midfielder potentially coming into the advanced midfield role behind two forwards next season if the second-tier side want to have two starting strikers.
Rhian Brewster will be a strong favourite to start when he returns – but Iliman Ndiaye has also arguably done enough to retain his spot in the first 11 too and still has plenty left in the tank.