Phil Jagielka, the Sheffield United legend, has identified new signing Cameron Archer as key to the Blades’ hopes of survival this season after his arrival from Aston Villa. The England U21 international is expected to make his Premier League debut for United against Everton tomorrow - another of Jagielka’s former clubs.
The former England man will be on punditry duty with TNT Sports at Bramall Lane, with both sides looking for their first point of the season so far. Sean Dyche’s side have been boosted by the arrival of £26m forward Beto - who offers a big physical presence and scored on his Toffees debut in midweek against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup - but United will have a new big-money signing of their own in the shape of Archer, with boss Paul Heckingbottom’s persistence in the pursuit of the 21-year-old paying off.
“Hecky will want a goalscorer and someone that will take a chance when he gets it,” Jagielka said. “He’s proven that, not only for Middlesbrough last year, but even in the summer for England’s Under-21s. They’ve had someone like that for many years in Iliman and Sharpy [Billy Sharp].
“That’s what they’ve built their success on. They had a player that could get at least double figures in terms of goals. Obviously, the Premier League is a bit more difficult than the Championship, but that’s what they’ll need if they want to stay up this season.”
Jagielka came through the ranks at Bramall Lane before returning in 2019, exactly 12 years after moving to Everton - where he made over 300 appearances and won 40 England caps. The former captain of both sides is assured of a warm reception from both sets of supporters and said of the game: “It’s a difficult one for me because I want both teams to get some points.
“I think both teams will be looking at it knowing it’s a big game to win, but a disastrous game to lose. So, I think a draw could be a pretty good shout. I don’t think there’ll be loads and loads of goals, but we’ll have to wait and see.”