Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has confirmed the club held talks with striker Neal Maupay this summer.

At the time Maupay was a Brentford player. The Frenchman did eventually get his move to the Premier League, joining Brighton and Hove Albion for £16m (BBC).

The Blades instead paid a club record £20m (BBC) fee for Oli McBurnie. Yet it seems them came close to signing Maupay instead.

“We had discussions with him. There was a number of players,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“I think quite a few of the clubs were sort of fishing in the same pond at the time.

“We wanted to improve at the top of the pitch and obviously Neal was a player that we knew a lot about through his exploits and fantastic performances at Brentford in the Championship.”

Did Sheffield United sign the wrong striker?

(Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Around halfway through the season it may be a little harsh to judge new signings too severely. Yet Maupay has certainly taken to life in the top flight better than McBurnie.

The 23-year-old has already scored seven league goals in 17 appearances in 2019/20. McBurnie has managed two in 15 matches.

Instead Lys Mousset has become the main source of goals for the Blades, top scoring for them with five strikes so far this term.

But they don’t want to become too reliant on Mousset. Billy Sharp has struggled in the Premier League and is maybe not cut out for the level.

David McGoldrick has been solid, but appears to be far more of a linkup man than a goal scorer. Both McBurnie and Callum Robinson have failed to truly find their form since joining in the summer.

Mousset is the only true success in front of goal. If the Blades had signed Maupay as well then who knows where they could be right now.

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