Sheffield United boss provides update on Bristol Rovers transfer target

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Will Osula is training with Sheffield United’s first-team but his manager is opening the door for a loan departure.

Sheffield United are preparing Will Osula for first-team football, whether that’s with them or out on loan, admits Paul Heckingbottom.

The 19-year-old was linked with a move to Bristol Rovers in May, following a hat-trick against Bristol City’s Under-21’s. He was described as being on a ‘longlist’ of transfer targets by the Bristol Post and it is unclear whether he remains a player that Joey Barton is interested in.

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Osula is currently training with the Blades first-team on their pre-season tour in Portugal, as they prepare for their first season back in the Premier League. He didn’t play much of a role in their promotion, and spent the first part of the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Derby County.

The Danish-born winger though has not looked out of place in the first-team and delivered a good performance against Chesterfield. Osula nearly scored in the goalless draw with Estoril on Wednesday night, and his manager can see the improvement he is making.

“You can see what Will is,” Heckingbottom said in an interview with The Star.

"He’s getting better and better. He should do, he’s only a young lad. You get a lot of chances here, a lot of exposure. They’ve got to step through the door and take it though because we can’t wait."

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“By how he got in those positions. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s still 19 at the start of the season. The next step is getting in the first team, and staying in the first team, and it’s important for Will that we get him that exposure.

“Listen, I am hoping that is with us; because that would mean he is flying and doing great. But if not, we want to make sure we are giving him those opportunities.”

Osula’s primary role is as a centre forward, which can either be seen as a secondary striker or the modern day 10. Rovers have already recruited in that area by bringing in Jevani Brown, who got 21 goal contributions in League One last year, meanwhile Osula is also capable of playing as a left-winger but Luke Thomas has also been signed in that position.

The Danish Under-21 international has already brushed shoulders with one potential Bristol Rovers teammate. He was involved in Denmark’s Under-21’s EURO qualifier with Wales, coming on as a substitute where he was tasked with facing Luca Hoole.

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