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Alexander Blessin reveals how close he came to Sheffield United job

The name Alexander Blessin was one became heavily used in Blades fans’ vocabulary over the summer months, as the search for a Chris Wilder replacement dragged on.

Blessin, 48, was touted almost immediately as a potential replacement for Wilder. His 3-5-2 formation, and excellent record with Belgian side KV Oostende, had seen both Prince Abdullah and right hand man, Jan van Winkel, sit up and take note.

Alas, despite weeks of negotiations, red-tape put an end to any hopes United had of appointing Alexander Blessin. Per The Athletic at the time, new work permit rules following Brexit meant Blessin no longer qualified to work in England.

And that report has been confirmed by Blessin himself this week. The German coach telling Sport that the Sheffield United job was one that interested him a lot.

“For me, it is important that somewhere I can do what I want to do. At a number of clubs, that was not the case. I feel I can still make mistakes here without being punished for them,” Blessin said when explaining how he likes to work.

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What’s the point of going to a club that has the ambition to play at the top, but where I’m immediately under fire after two defeats? If no club came along that I felt good about, I wouldn’t have to leave here. The only team that interested me was Sheffield United. Because English football fascinates me. Without Brexit, there was a chance I would have made that move.”

Alexander Blessin one for the future still?

He’s certainly a manager United will be keeping their eyes on. The club was obviously set on him at one point. So it would be no surprise to see Blessin at Bramall Lane at some point in the future. Of course, that would mean Slavisa Jokanovic losing his job somewhere down the line.

A fifth place finish with Oostende last year was excellent and unexpected for Blessin. This season, and quite coincidentally, his team have followed the same inconsistent path as Sheffield United. 12 games, 5 wins, 5 defeats, and 2 draws.

At 48, Blessin is still working his way into management really. But rest assured, if he has another good few seasons, and things go awry for Jokanovic and co, then the name of Alexander Blessin will be ringing in Blades fans’ ears again.

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