Sheffield United boss rules out striker transfer move amid interest from rival club

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom insists that striker Will Osula “won’t be going anywhere” ahead of tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline despite Championship interest from neighbours Rotherham United. The striker has started all three of United’s Premier League games so far.

The Millers were amongst a host of clubs who were keen on signing the Denmark youth international on loan for the rest of the season. Osula spent time last campaign at Derby County before being recalled in January, with United’s injury situation - and delayed work in the transfer market - meaning he was handed a dream chance to impress in the top flight.

He has proved a handful in his appearances so far but some of the burden on his young shoulders may now be eased, after the return from injury of Oli McBurnie and Cameron Archer’s arrival from Aston Villa - with James McAtee’s transfer move from Manchester City further increasing the attacking options at boss Heckingbottom’s disposal.

Millers boss Matt Taylor confirmed to our sister paper, the Rotherham Advertiser, that Osula and teammate Daniel Jebbison were previously players of interest. “The Jebbisons and Osulas of the world ... there was a time where we were in conversations,” Taylor said. “But I think Sheffield United maybe haven’t quite got what they wanted as the window has progressed.

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“I’m pretty sure Osula is ruled out for us if he’s playing Premier League football. Full credit to him for where his career is going. Taking a good young player from a local club does make sense but we have to be respectful of Sheffield United and their situation.”

Heckingbottom, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash against Everton at Bramall Lane with both sides looking for their first points of the season, added of Osula: “He won’t be going anywhere. He’s starting for us. I’m big on players needing games to get going, 100 per cent. We’ve got to manage our season and look after the football club first and foremost.

“There are two ways of doing it; give yourselves the best chance of being successful on the pitch, and you’ve got to develop players. If you can do both, as we have been managing to do, then fantastic. But it’s not as easy as getting players out, get them on loan and let them experience it. Will has had his bit. People will say it wasn’t a success but he’s gone and experienced how hard it is, how tough it is. Now he’s having to step up two leagues, into the best leagues, and try and perform. But he won’t be going anywhere because we need him.”