Things couldn’t really be going much better for Sheffield United as they prepare for their first Premier League January transfer window.
Sitting in eighth place and a comfortable 11 points clear of the drop, the Blades will be looking to build on their excellent return so far.
Indeed, manager Chris Wilder has already stated that he wants to add new faces. The United manager is not one to rest on his laurels and will hope his board back him during January.
Wilder spent around £40m in the summer. The likes of Oli McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Ben Osborn, and Callum Robinson have all had mixed success so far in a Blades shirt.
But with January around the corner, who should the Blades be looking to bring in?
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Quality over quantity
The numbers in the Sheffield United squad are healthy enough. Chris Wilder likes to work with a group of around 20 players. He likes competition for places but does not want players sat around doing nothing with no hope of breaking into the team.
That’s why this January, then, it is crucial that Wilder looks to bring in players of quality, rather than just buffing out the squad.
Some names have already been mentioned. The likes of Ollie Watkins and Eberechi Eze just two of the players potentially in the sights of Wilder and his staff.
However, it’s important that whoever comes in can make an impact. There’s little point in the Blades splashing the cash if they are going to warm the bench.
Coincidentally, the problem there lies in the fact that nine or so players in the first XI are simply undroppable. Convincing players to sign on the dotted line with no guarantee of football could be a big issue.
Positions to target
Key positions will always be the areas Wilder will look at. Of course, if a top striker becomes available in United’s price bracket, then the club might well act. Goals are, after all, the key aspect of winning any football match.
In the Blades’ case, in particular, cover at wing-back might be on the agenda. Kieron Freeman may well leave the club, meaning George Baldock will be the only natural right-back at the club.
Cover or an eventual replacement for Chris Basham is also something Wilder could look at. Indeed, Jack Rodwell is already training with the club and could step into that void if needed.
Finally, a midfield player who can change the game could be high up the list. Wilder’s move to a flat midfield three has meant no place for a number 10 type player as yet. However, as the season progresses, the Blades may need that option. The aforementioned Eze fits the bill with that position.
January is a tough time for most clubs but Sheffield United will be more than hopeful of it being a successful time in 2020.