Sheffield United’s youth academy has produced a number of brilliant players in recent years, hasn’t it Blades fans?
Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire and Phil Jagielka have all gone on to play at the highest level for both club and country yet one player, in particular, may surpass all three if he can continue to develop over the coming seasons.
David Brooks joined the Blades after leaving the youth ranks at Manchester City in 2014 and made his debut two years later in an EFL Trophy clash against Leicester City U23’s. Regular first team action arrived in the following season for the Welsh forward who had started to demonstrate his talents on a consistent basis under the guidance of manager Chris Wilder. Although his goal-scoring form was sporadic, his all-round play indicated real promise with performances against Leeds United and Middlesbrough attracted attention from the Premier League with AFC Bournemouth emerging as favourites to capture his signature.
After experiencing a great individual end to the 2017/18 campaign, Brooks decided to leave the Blades to pursue his dream of playing in the top flight with the Cherries eventually bringing him in a deal reported to be worth £11.5m (according to Sky Sports). United supporters may have questioned the sale if it had happened in normal circumstances yet it later emerged that £7.5m of the money will be used to pay off a loan taking out to fund the every day running of the club (via the Star).
Without this influx of money, the club’s future may have been uncertain and so Brooks has, albeit inadvertently, played a role in helping his former side in a time of need.
Since joining Bournemouth, the forward’s career has gone from strength to strength as he has established himself as a key player for Eddie Howe’s side, scoring six goals and providing four assists in what has been an impressive debut season in the top flight.
The nature of his performances has also seen him represent Wales on several occasions with his latest appearance coming in their 1-0 victory over Slovakia last week.
At the age of 21, Brooks has the world at his feet and it wouldn’t be surprising if he secures a move to a top-six Premier League side at some point over the next two or three years if he continues his current development.
Looking towards the immediate future, the forward could be making a return to Bramall Lane after just a year away. The Blades are currently second in the Championship standings and are in with a superb chance of achieving promotion to the top flight if they continue their stunning recent form.
If they do achieve this, they will be in line to face a Bournemouth side who barring a total collapse, will remain a Premier League side next season.
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