Attacking Football sources can confirm that Man United have been casting an eye over Sheffield United’s Andre Brooks. Brooks is becoming a key part of Chris Wilder’s squad as they aim to stay in the Premier League this season, and the Reds are massive fans of him.
Any deal to bring the English winger into the club is likely to be in the summer window, as United have their hands tied behind their backs due to Financial Fair Play Regulations. Loan moves or very cheap deals are expected to be the only business Erik ten Hag’s side will be able to do this window, with various links to stop-gap signings like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting currently being rumoured in the media.
United Interested In Andre Brooks:
We can exclusively reveal that Manchester United have been watching Sheffield United midfielder Andre Brooks. The 20-year-old midfielder is appreciated by the club, and they have continued to watch his progress during his time in the academy and his current break into the first team.
Brooks recently signed a new deal at Bramall Lane that is set to keep him at the club until 2027. The midfielder has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season, including nine in the Premier League. He is a Sheffield-born lad and has been in the club’s academy system for the last 12 years since he was eight years of age.
“Since I’ve been back in the building, Andre has been outstanding. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, but he knows he has to go on now and cement himself as a first team player. He’ll get all the support he needs from the staff here, so the challenge now for him is to build on the start he’s made and kick on again.Chris Wlder on Andre Brooks signing his new deal
No offers or approaches have been made as of yet and for now it is just interest and monitoring of a player they have had their eye on for some time. United are aware of his talent and potential but have not decided whether to pursue a deal for him.
Player Profile: Andre Brooks
Andre Brooks is looking like a rising star at Sheffield United. Since Wilder has come back to Sheffield United, Brooks has been consistently impressing with his performances on the pitch. Andre Brooks has displayed impressive adaptability, seamlessly moving into the role of a left-central midfielder. In the academy, he was more known for his ability as a winger.
When it comes to technical skills, Andre Brooks catches the eye. He displays great confidence and effectiveness in his dribbling, especially in tight spaces. His ability in ball progression from midfield with a combination of skill and speed makes him stand out in quite a slow Sheffield United midfield. His ability to hold onto the ball is another trait that impresses, too. He has a knack for outsmarting his opponents and keeping control of the ball, even in the most difficult circumstances where he is being pressed.
Andre Brooks has already shown his versatility by playing in different positions, such as playing as a wing-back and in central midfield, despite initially starting as a winger in the academy. He can be quite sloppy with his passes at times, but he has started to focus on simple yet effective passing. He would often use skilful moves like nutmegs to move the game forward. His understanding of the game, frequently contributing to both attack and defence, shows he is learning the box-to-box role. In addition, his defensive efforts are equally impressive, especially for someone who was labelled as a winger. He combines tackling ability with agile footwork to regain and retain control.
However, there are aspects that Brooks could still work on. His composure, particularly in the final third, is an area that is improving but requires work. He also needs to work on his stamina. There have been some games where he has been subbed off due to looking leggy in games late on. While he tends to play without fear when progressing the ball through dribbling, he lacks the same finesse when shooting. He may have some reservations when it comes to taking shots, but as he gains more confidence and experience, this aspect of his game will surely improve.
Considering his impressive performances so far for Sheffield United and his potential, Brooks’ current form indicates that he can become a crucial player for the Blades. His unique style and fearlessness in both passing and dribbling provide something different to what Sheffield United already had. His pace and physicality are so different to that of John Fleck and impact team tactics. Brooks has shown great potential and is on track to become a key player for Sheffield United, especially in his role as a versatile midfielder with a willingness to learn.
Ultimately, Andre Brooks has an impressive range of skills, seems to be evolving game-on-game, and is making valuable contributions to the Sheffield United midfield. His ability to progress the ball, dribble effectively, and provide solid defensive contributions all highlight that he is a player. Although there are areas that could be improved upon, such as composure and stamina, it seems that he is on a promising path to a successful future.
“Brooksy, another fabulous afternoon. I’m going to nail him a couple of bits because defensively he’s got to look after that position as well because to be that all-rounder he’s got to fill holes as well. We’ll critique his performances as well but I think the reception the supporters gave him, the young lad must’ve felt 10 foot tall.”Chris Wilder on Andre Brooks after their 2-2 Draw against West Ham
United’s Sheffield Connection:
United have signed players from Sheffield United before at youth level. Amir Ibragimov originally played for the Blades at academy level before making the switch to United. The club have had eyes on the academy set up in Sheffield for a while and has been watching Brooks for a long time due to that.
In the same token, it has also worked the other way around, as recently as this season. Sheffield United signed 16-year-old Zach Giggs from Man United’s youth setup. They have also signed Owen Hampson from Carrington in the 21/22 season, and Jean Belehouan as far back as the 17/18 season. The connection dates back some time, with both clubs having a good knowledge of one another.
The senior teams have also merged as recently as Dean Henderson’s loan deal to the club. The goalkeeper spent the 20/21 season at the Blades before returning to Manchester to feature for the first team in David De Gea’s absence. Facundo Pellistri was also recently heavily linked to a loan move to Chris Wilder’s side but is now set to join Granada in La Liga on loan instead.
Nick Cox and Luke Federenko were at Sheffield United during the years Brooks was breaking through the academy. Federenko joined United from the Blades in 2017 as an academy lead scout but was eventually moved up the Head of Academy recruitment role. Federenko worked alongside Cox who is currently the Director of Academy at Manchester United. He oversees all the operations across the club at the academy level and has been a huge part of the turnaround over the last number of years.
Travis Binnion also spent time at Sheffield United both as a player and a coach in the academy. Binnion is the current manager of Manchester United’s u21 side. The English manager played for the Blades from 2006-2008 before returning to become the manager of their academy team between the years of 2016-2019. He has been at Manchester United since then and is heavily involved in the development of players from the age of 17-21 years of age.
Goalkeeping coach Tommy Lee also spent two years at the club before joining United in October 2022, and the Director of Football Insights and Innovation Richard Hawkins was the Head of Fitness and Conditioning in Sheffield from October 2007 until February 2008.
Likely, the interest from the current backroom staff at United who spent time with Sheffield United was carried over when it comes to Andre Brooks. It’s not uncommon for this to happen at clubs, and there was a massive example of it last summer when Joe Shields joined Chelsea from Southampton and recommended they sign Romeo Lavia.
Brooks was formally a winger during his early years as a footballer but has now developed into a left-central midfielder. He is however incredibly versatile and has played in both central and attacking midfield for the first team so far this season. Chris Wilder is beginning to trust him more and more in the first team since he came back to manage the club, with the midfielder starting the last eight games for the club in the Premier League.
He is becoming a mainstay in the side, but relegation to the Championship may make it difficult for the club to keep hold of him. His performances between now and the end of the season may cause his stock to rise even more, and relegation to the lower division has famously made it awkward for clubs to negotiate what they deem to be a fair fee for their players.
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