Sheffield United are once again been mentioned when it comes to the January window, this time, with Le Soir linking them with a move for Belgian defender, Elias Cobbaut.
Blades boss, Chris Wilder, has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his squad this month. He has already fetched in Jack Rodwell on a short-term deal and now, seemingly, is looking at further squad enhancements.
It’s little surprise, too, to see the Blades casting their net further afield. Jan van Winkel is part of the transfer committee at Bramall Lane and has good connections in Europe. Indeed, it was van Winkel’s contacts that allowed United to bring in Michael Verrips in the summer.
But who is Elias Cobbaut, and why might Chris Wilder be taking a look at him?
Much like with the signing of Jack Rodwell, Wilder is trying to ensure he has cover in all positions. With Chris Basham’s right centre-back role now covered, attention has turned to sorting cover for Jack O’Connell on the other side.
This is where the addition of Cobbaut could make sense. The 22-year-old is a natural left-footer who plays as a centre-back for Anderlecht at the moment.
He’s impressed for the Belgian outfit too. Furthermore, his form has seen him rewarded with a call-up to the Belgian national team by Roberto Martinez.
The fact he is left-footed makes it easy to see why Wilder is eyeing him up. The Blades don’t really have depth if O’Connell was to get injured. Of course, Enda Stevens could step in if needed but that would mean Ben Osborn slotting in at left wingback.
Therefore, signing another central defender who won’t upset the balance is key.
Talks already underway?
The report from Le Soir claims that Cobbaut was over in England to watch the Blades against Man City at the Etihad. If that report is true, then it’s easy to assume that talks could have already started.
It is believed, too, that Cobbaut could be in the Blades’ price range. Despite only signing in the summer from KV Mechelen, Anderlecht could well choose to cash in on the young defender.
With the January window notoriously hard to find the right players, at the right price, Sheffield United might well fancy their chances of landing Cobbaut.