Sheffield United’s return to the Championship last season went well, with the team ultimately finishing 10th. Many might still consider it an unsuccessful campaign because the Blades seemed a top candidate to finish in the playoffs. However, only two wins in the last nine games meant they’ll have to wait at least another season to be back in the Premier League
There may be many reasons as to why the slump happened. For one, United had trouble dealing with the absence of Paul Coutts, who’s a key player in their midfield. The lack of experience at this level also made a difference and it seems the Red-and-Whites need some more class in their ranks. Let’s take a look at the key positions that must be strengthened by Sheffield United in the summer.
It’s important to note that the South Yorkshire side needs quality, not quantity. Having said that, buying another goalkeeper is essential. Simon Moore and Jake Eastwood are both decent choices, but none of them is as good as former Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman. If Wilder can sign him again this summer, it would be a shrewd piece of business.
At least one new striker is needed. James Wilson’s loan ended, Clayton Donaldson has been released, and Ched Evans couldn’t make an impact last season. This leaves the Blades with only Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke up front, but they’re both over 30 and need more competition. Moreover, Wilder likes to play with two strikers in a 3-5-2 formation.
A new defender might be needed too. Last year, neither Daniel Lafferty nor Ben Heneghan showed they deserve to be first team regulars. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Jack Robinson at QPR. He’s definitely someone who can help United. He is versatile and can play both as a left-back and a centre-back.
It also remains to be seen whether David Brooks will remain at Bramall Lane. He scored 3 goals in 33 games last season and generally played well, which is why interest in him is high. So, if the academy graduate decides to look for a new challenge, Wilder might have to buy a new attacking midfielder.
Although a huge overhaul isn’t required, Sheffield United need three or four new faces if they are to mount a serious promotion challenge next season.