Chris Wilder is being linked once again with the job at Newcastle United, as pressure continues to mount on unpopular manager, Steve Bruce.
The Chronicle has claimed that Wilder would jump at the chance of taking the Newcastle job if it came up. It would, of course, rely on Bruce leaving, and Wilder is not the sort of character to speak about someone else’s job anyway.
If Wilder did go, then there would still be the same old issues. He’d be working under Mike Ashley for one, and he wouldn’t exactly be given the mega-bucks some Premier League managers get. But nonetheless, Wilder could well use his skills at bringing everyone together, much like he did at Bramall Lane.
Naturally, we as fans could expect Wilder to come knocking for some of his Sheffield United favourites. Some of the players are well-respected and well-liked by the 54-year-old.
We’ve taken a look, then, at three Sheffield United players Chris Wilder might fancy if he was to become Newcastle United manager.
The most obvious pick of all the Sheffield United players, Egan is a colossal presence and was instrumental for Wilder.
Egan played at the heart of the back three system Wilder made famous at Bramall Lane. A £4m signing from Brentford, the Irish defender has gone from strength to strength as a Blade and is the club captain when Billy Sharp isn’t about.
“It’s a reward for the influence John has on the team and at the football club. He’s been part and parcel of our climb over the last two years and he’s taken his game to the next level,” Wilder said of Egan in 2020.
“He’s a rock-solid character who produces performances week in, week out against world-class players and on the international stage.”
It would, then, be no surprise at all to see Wilder come in for Egan. Prince Abdullah claimed the Blades refused to sell the Irishman this summer.
However, the lure of the PL, and the chance to link back up with Wilder could well see the defender force the issue down the line.
Another one of Wilder’s Mr Reliables, Baldock has been a model of consistency ever since move to Sheffield United. He excelled under the now ex-Blades boss as right wing-back, and hasn’t been replaced since.
Jayden Bogle was signed to put pressure on Baldock. But barring the odd performance, Bogle has come nowhere near to dislodging the Blades ace.
Baldock is showing this season under Slavisa Jokanovic that he’s capable in a back four as well. That flexibility, as well as his passion, ability, and general work-ethic, make him the ideal Wilder signing.
It might not seem the most obvious choice given McBurnie’s less than impressive goalscoring record at United.
The big striker has hit just eight goals in more than 70 appearances for the Blades. Just a single goal last season backed up a relatively modest if not horrendous six goals in his debut Premier League season.
But with Newcastle so reliant on Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, Wilder could look to McBurnie as a different option. Especially given that Joelinton continues to not deliver the goods at St James’ Park.
Wilder likes McBurnie, and backed him during a goal scoring drought last year.
“He’s a strong lad and strong character. He needs to keep getting in those positions and I’m sure it will soon drop for him,” Wilder said of McBurnie at the time.
Certainly, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see Wilder move for McBurnie should he land the Newcastle job.