According to The Sun, Premier League newcomers Sheffield United have been credited with an interest in Dutch international midfielder Leroy Fer, with Blades manager Chris Wilder keen to push hard for a deal to bring the 30-year-old to Bramall Lane this summer.
Fer, who is currently a free agent following his departure from Swansea City, is in talks with his boyhood club Feyenoord and is keen to complete a return to the Netherlands after spending six seasons playing in the top two divisions of English football. (h/t Sun)
Feyenoord are in pole position to bring their former academy graduate back to the club but Sheffield United are planning an audacious hijack to keep the towering central midfielder in English football for at least another season. (h/t Sun)
Sheffield United were slow to get off the mark in the summer transfer window but the Blades have opened the floodgates for new arrivals to come through over the past few weeks, bagging quite a few scalps in the process.
The likes of Callum Robinson and Luke Freeman have been brought in from Preston and QPR respectively to add more substance and creativity to the attack, whilst promising French striker Lys Mousset has arrived at Bramall Lane for a club-record fee from Bournemouth.
To add to that, the Blades have added much-needed experience to their ranks by bringing in their former player Phil Jagielka, who was a part of the club’s last campaign in the top-flight in the 2006-07 season.
Not to mention the gamble that they have played on former Man United youth product Ravel Morrison, who had virtually faded into obscurity over the past few seasons.
Now, it is quite easy to draw a conclusion from those transfer dealings that Sheffield United have adopted a very measured and sensible approach in the market this summer, although the deals for Mousset and Morrison does look a bit risky.
Coming back to Fer, the 29-year-old registered only a solitary goal and two assists in 25 appearances for Swansea City in the Championship the last term.
He wasn’t at his sparkling best but it would be unfair to label him as a spent force in English football, given that he still has a lot to offer at the highest level.
Fer, who won the Dutch Cup with Feyenoord in the 2007-08 season and spent three more seasons in the top-flight with his boyhood club, made his move to FC Twente in the summer of 2011.
The central midfielder went on to taste similar kind of success over the course of his two seasons at Twente and left The Netherlands to join Norwich City in the Premier League in 2013, having racked up 37 goals and 25 assists in close to 200 appearances for the likes of Twente and Feyenoord.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a good debut season in the Premier League and subsequently featured for the likes of QPR and Swansea City, both in the top-light as well as in the Championship, before being released by the Swans. Fer’s tally of 16 goals and 11 assists in 123 Premier League outings certainly looks decent for a central midfielder.
To put things into perspective, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Wilder to go all out in his pursuit of the Dutch international star this summer.
He would certainly be a massive coup for the Blades, given his availability on a free transfer and the wealth of Premier League experience in his CV.
As well as much-needed top-flight experience, the gigantic Dutchman could also increase competition for places in the midfield and offer something different to the likes of John Fleck and Oliver Norwood.
Indeed, Norwood and Fleck were the mainstays of the club’s midfield in the Championship the last term and both were amongst the cornerstones of United’s promotion-winning campaign along with the likes of Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick upfront.
However, Fer could possibly add much-needed depth, dynamism and X-Factor to the Blades’ existing midfield options with his technical abilities on the ball.
His innate ability to create spaces with his dribbling skills and induce creativity between the opposition’s lines with his vision and knack for picking out key passes, as well as his ability to break up the play with his tough-tackling nature, would be of great use.
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The Dutchman can be an imposing presence in the middle of the park and Chris Wilder is probably aware of his skill set.
That said, the Blades should leave no stone unturned in their attempts to convince the 29-year-old that Bramall Lane is the perfect destination for him next season.