The incredible rise of teenager Che Adams shows no sign of abating after he pulled on the white shirt of England this week.
The 19-year-old forward – who was playing non-league football 12 months ago – made his debut for England Under-20s against the Czech Republic on Monday in Shrewsbury.
After Nigel Clough signed him for United from non-league Ilkeston Town, Adams netted twice against Tottenham Hotspur last season and impressed with his all-action displays.
New manager Nigel Adkins has given Adams a run of games at the start of this season, culminating in a new three-year deal and his international call-up.
“We had four lads away on international duty which is great for them individually and also for the club,” said Adkins, of David Edgar (Canada), Callum McFadzean (Scotland Under-21s), Louis Reed (England Under-19s) and Adams.
“What a story for Che,” said Adkins. “He’s been playing non-league football since about 14, then started playing for Sheffield United, signed a new contract and has now worn the white shirt of England. He’s got an opportunity now and he’s got to conduct himself properly. Everyone who has worked with him at Sheffield United and also before that should be very proud. The same goes for Che’s family.”
McFadzean, 21, is another who has impressed Adkins, starting the first two games of the season for United. “Callum is young and he’s come through the system,” said Adkins. “He started the season for us. He’s got a lot to learn but he’s got a great desire to improve.
“What we’ve got to do is give him the environment to do that. If he still wants to improve, then he’s got a great chance.”
There was a note of caution though from Adkins that United’s young stars do not let their international call-ups go to their heads.
“The important thing now, and we’ve seen this happen a few times before, is when players go away and come back after mixing with others, they can go on to a different level, if you like,” warned Adkins.
“You’ve got to make sure the things away from football are right.
“You have to work hard, that’s the philosophy we have here. Yes, you are allowed to make mistakes because that’s how you learn,” he added.