Sheffield United set to beat Southampton in race for upcoming star

Paul Heckingbottom Sheffield United

By Albert Pearson

Sheffield United are set to beat Cardiff City, Hull City and Southampton to defender Miguel Freckleton, per a report.

The 18-year-old young defender currently plays for Southern League Division One South & West side Mangotsfield. The young defender joined through the SGS football programme from the Bristol Rovers academy. 

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According to journalist Gregor MacGregor, the Blades are close to finalising a deal for Freckleton.

Earlier this month Bristol Live reported he was on the radar of a host of clubs. Cardiff, Hull and even Premier League side Southampton are tracking Freckleton.

However, after impressing in a behind-closed-doors game for United, the teenager looks set to join the Blades on a long-term deal. 

He would become the latest player to come through the SGS system and reach the English Football League, following the likes of another Blades defender in the form of Kacper Lopata, who made his senior debut earlier this season. 

Since the appointment of former under-23 boss Paul Heckingbottom as the new head coach of the first team, it was suggested that there would be a renewed focus on signing young players and bringing them through into the first team in order to become more self-sustainable. 

Therefore, the signing of Freckleton looks to be evidence of that taking place as they beat off competition from the Premier League and Championship to do so.  

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Heckingbottom makes claim on Illiman Ndiaye

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom believes that match-winner Iliman Ndiaye is ‘nowhere’ near reaching his peak yet, despite his man of the match performance against Fulham on Monday night. 

It was the young Frenchman who secured all three points for the Blades last night at Craven Cottage. His stunning solo effort was enough to secure the victory. 

Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Heckingbottom said: “Iliman, we’ve not seen the best of him yet. Nowhere near in fact.   

“I thought he performed really well. On the ball, obviously with the goal he scored because that was excellent. But also off it. His work rate was top class, really top drawer.

“He’s coachable and is a real hard worker. I’m delighted to be working with him and I’m looking forward to working with him a lot more in the future.”

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