Manager speaks out as Leeds linked with deal to re-sign centre-forward

Paul Heckingbottom speaks out as Leeds United linked with shock deal to re-sign Oli McBurnie

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has mooted speculation linking Oli McBurnie to a move to Leeds United.

As quoted in the print edition of the Daily Express (17 August, pg 60), the Blades’ boss claimed that the 27-year-old forward is staying at Bramall Lane this season following their return to the Premier League despite social media speculation of his return to Elland Road.

McBurnie was a Leeds United as a youngster but was released before he reached the under-14s, but has since gone on to score 23 goals for the Blades, including 15 last season.

Heckingbottom said: “Oli is staying – everyone knows with me and him it’s a bit of tough love. I’ve got loads of time for him but I also know that certainly in the last few years at Sheffield United, people haven’t seen him at his best of what I know – and also what Oli knows he can do.

“How do you get the best out of Oli? Just push him and don’t take no for an answer – that’ll be the approach again.”


While the speculation regarding McBurnie’s departure from Sheffield to Leeds United was from social media, many Blades fans will feel at ease knowing their striker will remain to fight in the Premier League.

With 15 Championship goals last season, the Scotsman had by far and away his most prolific season in red and black. For Leeds fans, however, they may be disappointed to hear Heckingbottom’s comments.

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The Whites are in the market for a forward this summer. ChronicleLive reported (16 August) that they’d missed out on Everton striker Tom Cannon to Preston North End, while Last Word In Sport claimed (14 August) that they are targeting Aston Villa starlet Cameron Archer.View Tweet

While a slightly older McBurnie does not exactly fit the profile of Leeds United’s other reported targets, having a proven and experienced goal scorer could have been a significant boost to Daniel Farke’s side in their bid for promotion.

With McBurnie being Leeds-born also, the Elland Road faithful can now only imagine what he could have done for the club as his future seemingly lies in a different area of Yorkshire.