Sheffield United: Challenge Manchester City’s James McAtee must overcome to realize his talent identified


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Sheffield United: Young international recalled early from loan

Although McAtee has shown flashes of ability that have prompted some observers to describe him as one of England’s most technically accomplished youngsters, the 20-year-old still struggles to translate those skills into influential performances. .

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion, Heckingbottom insisted he was happy with McAtee’s progress and insisted a period of acclimatization was inevitable given McAtee’s style of possession. its parent club.

“You also see the difference with him and Tommy, who has already had two loans. One of them was not so successful, okay. But it was still an experience for him and the other was in our division with Cardiff. It will have taught him how this league is and will have introduced him to it.

James McAtee in action for Sheffield United in their match against Norwich City: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Before spending the second half of the last mandate in the Welsh capital, Doyle spent a period in Hamburg in Germany which served as his introduction to competitive senior football. After recovering from an injury sustained during pre-season, Doyle has become a key member of the squad heading to the Midlands fifth in the table. After being omitted from the starting XI which drew 2-2 with City, his introduction after the break helped tip the game in United’s favor after leading 2-0 at the break.

These 27 appearances, including 19 in the THE F, proved invaluable to Doyle. Heckingbottom acknowledges that McAtee, meanwhile, is forced to learn on the job with a directive encouraging officials to raise the contact threshold, making it an even more difficult process. However, despite sympathy for his predicament behind the scenes, the England Under-21 international must start to show he is making progress to avoid slipping down the selection ladder – particularly at a time when, given the debilitating combination of injuries and individual errors United have suffered over the past month, Heckingbottom’s men travel to the Hawthorns without a win since September 17.

“The league, and the way it’s being refereed, with what they’re letting go now, it just makes things a lot more frantic,” Heckingbottom insisted. “James, coming from the Premier League and top European youth football, it’s a definite learning curve as I said.”

Tommy Doyle is also on loan to Sheffield United from Manchester City: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
James McAtee of Sheffield United with manager Paul Heckingbottom: Darren Staples/Sportimage
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