Paul Heckingbottom says how Manchester City youngster Tommy Doyle can improve while on loan at Sheffield United
Tommy Doyle headed to Sheffield United on loan from Manchester City this season, and manager Paul Heckingbottom wants to see him improve in two areas.
After frustrating loans at Hamburger SV and Cardiff City, Doyle headed out on another temporary spell to Sheffield United this season, but the 21-year-old is starting to find his feet as a professional footballer.
Plying his trade as an attacking midfielder, there wasn’t much space at Manchester City for Doyle to shine, with Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden all world-class talents ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Doyle has been a regular for Heckingbottom at Bramall Lane, and with two little improvements, the Sheffield United manager thinks Doyle can reach his full potential.
“We’ve been pushing him without the ball. For me he needs to be more dominant and physical without it so if he wants to play in the middle of the park he has to do that,” said Heckingbottom after the win over West Brom, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
“He’s been doing well and we’ll continue to push him. We need more goals from him, too. You’ve not seen what he can do in and around the box yet. There’s goals in him. He’s a good footballer.”
Game time is crucial
While Doyle clearly caught the eye of Pep Guardiola at City, there were hardly any chances for the Catalonian manager to give him game time.
Doyle took the mature decision to go out on loan and prove himself, and it’s a decision that is paying off. Sheffield United are flying high in the Championship up in fourth, and Doyle has a chance to really make a name for himself.
Even if his future doesn’t lie at Manchester City, Doyle can attract Premier League teams through impressing in the Championship.
It’s promising to hear that Heckingbottom has a clear plan laid out for Doyle, including physical work to help him compete in midfield, as well as encouraging him to get forward and contribute more with goals.
Should Doyle improve on both of those attributes, then not only will he become a key player for Sheffield United, but he’ll also find plenty of offers flying through for him next summer.
In other Manchester City news, Michael Owen insists Phil Foden can win the Ballon d’Or