After a difficult start to his senior career, during his loan spell with Sheffield United, James McAtee bounced back in tremendous style midway through the season.
The Manchester City youngster began the campaign looking out of his depth physical-wise in the Championship. And the 20-year-old has reflected on the tough period early on. “I think I kind of went into it with the wrong mentality. Thinking ‘I’ve done well all through my Academy [life] and I’ll just do well again’,” McAtee stated in an interview with Manchester City.
McAtee’s progression after the World Cup break was remarkable and he became a bright spark for the Blades helping them over the finish line. The Salford-born midfielder would be hailed as the ‘Salford Silva’ by the supporters, he ended the season with nine goals and three assists in 39 Championship appearances.
“I had to step up another level and get used to the different style of play and the physicality of men’s football. I feel like I found myself there. I found the way I want to play and how I want to affect games”, McAtee expressed.
The player paid homage to Unitedites as he referenced Bramall Lane’s incredible atmosphere:
“The fans were great. When I first went I didn’t think it was going to be sold out, but especially at the start of the game when they sang that song I thought it was an amazing atmosphere.”
McAtee’s performances last term has earned him a chance to excel in Manchester City’s preseason campaign. And Pep Guardiola sees him as a vital squad player for this upcoming season having rejected several loan offers and bids of up to £30m.