It was all about the movement. Daniel Jebbison’s dart between the two blue-clad defenders was accurately timed and wrote his name in the history books.
At just 17 years and 309 days, the striker became the youngest player to score on their first Premier League start when he settled Sheffield United’s game with Everton in May last year.
The Blades may have been heading for relegation, but it was certainly a moment Jebbison will never forget and for those who didn’t know him, a classic case of ‘remember the name’.
Daniel Jebbison receives the Vertu Motors PFA League One Player of the Month award from Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
The Sheffield United mercenary benefits from his season with the League One outfit
While that breakthrough goal may have given Sheffield United coaches food for thought, the intention has always been to put the teenager on loan for essential experience.
For example, Jebbison ended up with Burton Albion in League One this season, after first signing a first professional contract with Bramall Lane, and he is getting stronger.
Taking advantage of the standout know-how of Brewers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – a prolific goalscorer in his time at Chelsea, Leeds, Middlesbrough and others – Jebbison’s game gets underway.
Hasselbaink’s pride came across when Jebbison presented the Vertu Motors PFA League One Player of the Month award for November.
At just 17 years and 309 days, Jebbison scored for Sheffield United at Everton last season
Teen striker stole from Everton defense to settle game at Goodison Park
That month he scored in the FA Cup win over Fleetwood, twice in a 4-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley and another in a home win over Doncaster Rovers.
Jebbison continues his form into December and beyond, now has eight for the campaign and is doing well.
“He helped me a lot,” Jebbison says about Hasselbaink in a conversation with sports post.
Jebbison has so far scored eight times for Burton during his loan spell
“We always do extras after training, maybe he pulls me aside and does some finishing exercises and tells me what he did every day to help him.
“I try to put that into my game and it always works. Even during some games he gives me advice and it always works.
“He’s a really good manager and I really like him, he’s been great to me. He absolutely loves players with character and a good mentality.”
With the relegation already confirmed, Sheffield United’s interim manager Paul Heckingbottom (now permanently in charge) promoted Jebbison from the academy ranks.
He made his debut against Crystal Palace and then scored at Goodison Park.
“The feeling was great, it was like ‘wow!’ It’s like you’ve done something amazing and you’re trying to understand what you’ve just done,” he recalls.
‘After that I got a lot of people texting and congratulating me. My family first, my school in Canada, it was a little crazy.
“When the line-up came out and they saw me starting, my old club in Canada, ANB, saw it and they called everyone at the club and said a former player would start in the Premier League today.
“It was good that everyone was there and hopefully I gave a good impression to all the young children in my old club. It is always good to be an example, to be a role model.”
Ironically, the player Jebbison models his attacking play on was on the other side of the field when that goal was scored.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin, I watch his movement in the box and it’s very similar to me,” he says.
“I try to keep an eye on him because he is one of the best for movement in the penalty area.”
Jebbison admires the penalty box move of Everton and England striker Calvert-Lewin
As mentioned, Jebbison’s background is a bit unusual. Canada is not known for being a hotbed of football talent, although Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies is doing his best to change that perception.
Jebbison is from Oakville, a large town on Lake Ontario, not far from Toronto or Niagara Falls. He played youth football for ANB Futbol between the ages of six and 14.
His father Patrick was an accomplished basketball player who led the Brandon University Bobcats to three consecutive national championships and represented Canada. His mother Christine was an athlete who ran for Great Britain.
So with those sporty genes, maybe this was all destined.
Jebbison with father Patrick and mother Christine as he signed his contract with Sheffield United
“Growing up, I was very versatile. I played baseball in school, basketball, volleyball and of course football,” explains the teenager.
“When I was young, I really wanted to play ice hockey, because that’s the main sport.
‘It’s very strange because here [in England] you have professional academies but in Canada it is not. You pay to play football.
“When I was in Canada I just played a lot of sports for fun, but when I was 13 or 14 I got serious about football.”
His older brothers, Jonathan and Micah, attended a soccer camp, but in the end it was Daniel, who was simply dribbling and shooting at a net on the sidelines, that caught the attention of scouts.
And its potential was only really unlocked when the family moved to England, with Christine first working in banking and Patrick following.
Hasselbaink was a deadly goalscorer for Chelsea, Leeds, Atletico Madrid and other clubs
They settled in Derby with Daniel initially playing for local club Gresley Rovers.
“Nothing really happened when my father took me to UK Football Trials one day with my two other brothers,” he said.
“Micah and I have been invited to Sheffield United. It took a long time for me to get a contract and unfortunately my brother didn’t make it.
“It was already difficult to come to the academy. I just made it. At first I wasn’t even offered a scholarship, but eventually I got one. I’ve been on trial with many other teams where I didn’t make it.”
Jebbison is keeping a close eye on how the Blades are doing, but his main concern is getting Burton on the table, hopefully in the Play-offs at the end of the season.
The Brewers are 12th for Saturday’s visit to Gillingham and have 11 points to make up for sixth, but the ambition is clear.
“I will take this award and accept it, but I will not flinch. You have to keep going and push hard.’
Martinelli is the fan favorite
Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli won the PFA Vertu Motors Premier League Player of the Month in December after three goals and two assists in six league games.
Martinelli defeated teammate Martin Odegaard plus Raheem Sterling, James Ward-Prowse, Son Heung-min and James Maddison to win the fans’ votes.
Manchester United’s Alessia Russo won the Women’s Super League award in December.
And in the EFL, Blackburn’s prolific striker Ben Brereton Diaz took the championship prize, Ipswich Town’s James Norwood for League One and Forest Green’s Mathew Stevens for League Two.