It looks like things are finally starting to move in a promising and positive direction for Jack O’Connell at Sheffield United once again.

It’s been almost two and a half years since the defender made his last appearance for the Blades, which came in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in September 2020.

Since then, a serious knee injury that has required two separate surgeries has sidelined the 28-year-old.

However, it appears the defender is now slowly but surely approaching a return to action, with Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom revealing this week that O’Connell is now training once more on the pitch.

As a result, it appears that the Blades will soon face the prospect of having to make a big decision about the defender’s future, and there seems to be an argument, that there is only one sensible outcome for the club.

Right now, O’Connell will be without a contract at Bramall Lane at the end of this season, which could make him a free agent in just a few months.

But given this update, it appears the Blades must take whatever steps they can to extend the 28-year-old’s stay at the club beyond that point.

For starters, with the effort O’Connell has put into getting back into shape after such a long spell, it seems like it would be the right thing to do for the player to give him a chance to prove he can still earn a place in the Blades side. .

On the contrary, letting him go alone to face such an uncertain future after so long would feel like a pretty harsh approach for the 28-year-old.

Can you get 20/20 on this Sheffield United quiz?

How many appearances has Nick Montgomery made for Sheffield United?

In fact, it’s also worth noting that doing so is something that could pay off hugely for Sheffield United themselves.

Let’s not forget that O’Connell was one of the standout players in the Yorkshire club’s excellent first campaign in the Premier League in 2019/20.

Of course, the defender’s success during that campaign means it was certainly a huge loss for the Blades, having been relegated just a year later in such a dismal season, where those injury problems restricted him to just two starts.

As a result, if he could rediscover that form, or something close to it, then O’Connell could once again become a major asset for Sheffield United.

Admittedly, that may not be easy for him after so long, especially with the Premier League demands the club expects to have to deal with next season.

But if he is to be ready to play again at the start of the 2023/24 campaign, a loan move could also be considered.

That’s something that could give O’Connell a chance to rediscover his fitness and sharpness, and show those watching at Bramall Lane, that he can still play a role for the Blades in the future.

In fact, given the form he’s shown previously with Sheffield United, you’d imagine there would be no shortage of takers for the defender, either.

With all that in mind, there seems to be an obvious stance for Sheffield United to take regarding O’Connell’s future in the summer and, despite his contract expiring, that shouldn’t mean a permanent departure from Bramall Lane if it’s possible.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *