Sheff Utd's Daniel Jebbison was scouted by the Blades at a UK Football Trials event in 2018 and is now an Arsenal target
SHEFFIELD United's teen Daniel Jebbison is being raved about as the next big thing, but he could've been one who slipped through the net.
The 17-year-old Canadian exploded onto the scene on his full debut by scoring the winner against Everton at Goodison Park last weekend.
But in 2017, a future in football looked unlikely when his family relocated from Ontario to England, as his English mother moved for work.
A year later, Jebbison took part in the UK Football Trials – an event that's attended by scouts from all over the country searching for a talent that may have been missed.
There, a Blades scout found the tall, athletic forward, offered him a trial and soon he was signed on a pro contract as he rose through the ranks.
His epic rise has seen the youngster linked with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
LEARNED TO PLAY IN CANADA
Jebbison got his football education in Oakville, a small town of around 200,000 people in the Greater Toronto area.
He began playing for semi-professional club ANB Futbol from the age of six.
However, in 2017 – with his mum scoring a job in the UK – the family left Canada behind.
Jebbison was without a club – and any dreams of football stardom appeared to be squashed.
That is until fate handed him a lucky break.
UK FOOTBALL TRIALS
In 2018, Jebbison attended a UK Football Trials event in Birmingham that would change his life.
He was joined by his older brother, Micah who also showed promise as a footballer.
Daniel revealed in a Q&A on the UK Football Trials website: "I chose to attend your event because I really wanted to play football at a higher level and I knew I had an opportunity with you."
And it proved to be a big success.
Ash Foyle, Sheffield United's former Head of Academy Recruitment, explained: "We sent a scout down to UK Football Trials and he was impressed with the two brothers so we got them in to the academy."
But only one would make it.
PUT THROUGH THEIR PACES
The pair were invited to a six-week trial with the Blades, followed by two academy matches shortly after.
Unfortunately for Micah, it was deemed a step too far. But for Daniel the sky was the limit.
Foyle said: “Dan played in the UDAN tournament and did really well, he created a few goals and showed enough pace and athleticism for us to sign him."
Jebbison inked a deal in 2018, and his drive and determination has seen him get a first-team opportunity merely four years after arriving on our shores.
"When I found out they wanted to sign me, it felt amazing and I just wanted to push even harder and go even further in my career," he said.
CAPPED BY ENGLAND YOUTH
In recognition of his excellent form for the Sheffield United, four goals in as many games in the Youth Cup, and one in two U23 games, a chance at international arrived back in March.
Jebbison debuted with the England U18s in a 2–0 win over the Wales U18s in a friendly.
Discussing his call-up, he revealed: "I felt amazing. I felt so honoured and I am so thankful."
And it was an experience he loved every minute of and won't forget.
"The training with England was short, sharp and they pushed us to keep fit and not fatigue," Jebbison told UK Football Trials.
"When I first stepped onto the pitch in the England kit I felt amazing. I was focused and ready to give it my all. I enjoyed every last second."
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