James McAtee, alongside Tommy Doyle, made a significant impact at Sheffield United during last season at Bramall Lane. Their crucial roles helped Paul Heckingbottom’s team claim promotion to the Premier League after a successful second attempt.
After falling just short in the playoffs during the 2021/22 season, United secured automatic promotion in the subsequent campaign, outperforming contenders like Luton Town and Middlesbrough, and McAtee’s contribution was pivotal.
The 20-year-old sensation ended the season with nine goals and three assists in 37 league appearances, he played a crucial role in earning essential points. But his early performances had some supporters worried about the loan signing as he was physically inferior. However, recovering from a challenging start at Bramall Lane, he evidently grew into the league and the winter World Cup allowed him to bulk up.
While the Saints’ interest in recruiting him is well-known, director of football Jason Wilcox aims to leverage his ties to Manchester City to bring McAtee to St Mary’s for the 2023/24 season. The Blades also have their eyes on him, looking to bring him back to South Yorkshire following his instrumental role in their promotion-winning campaign. However, a move for McAtee might be on hold as Guardiola seems intent on acquiring attacking midfielders before deciding the young Englishman’s fate.
Their are several teams from across Europe wanting to sign McAtee this summer, some of which have offered a permanent deal for him, but City do not want to sell. Alan Nixon suggests that Sheffield United could be firm favourites to acquire James McAtee this summer, hence why the Blades are stalling on bringing back Tommy Doyle, who is vocal about wanting to return to Bramall Lane.