The 2020 summer transfer window seems a long time ago now if you’re a Sheffield United fan.
The Blades were preparing for a second season in the Premier League under Chris Wilder. Having finished ninth in their return to the top-flight and with plenty of plaudits coming their way, many – including us – thought United were on course to firmly cement themselves in the PL.
Alas, what was a dream season quickly turned to the stuff of nightmares for United and Wilder. A disastrous campaign resulted in Wilder leaving, with the Blades relegated without ever even getting a sniff of beating the drop.
That summer, United were said to have tried for a number of players to improve the squad. But instead of landing tried and tested stars, the Blades instead gambled on youth. Aaron Ramsdale, Jayden Bogle, Max Lowe, Rhian Brewster, and Oliver Burke arrived, while Ethan Ampadu joined on loan from Chelsea.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing in football. The ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ conversations can go on for years. But one player who United definitely look like regretting not landing is Benfica star, Darwin Nunez.
Reports last summer from La Voz de Almeria had claimed United were willing to pay around £13.5m for the Uruguayan star.
And now, one year down the line and with Rhian Brewster still yet to register a league goal in red and white, Nunez could be on the verge of a mega-money deal.
Nunez hasn’t set the world alight at Benfica in terms of pure stats. A relatively modest 14 goals goals in all competitions last term, hardly anything to shout home about. But it’s his overall game, and the fact he is just 22, that perks teams’ interest.
The tricky forward added 12 assists to those 14 strikes last term. He’s already hit four goals this season, and the Daily Star have now claimed that Manchester United, City, Liverpool, and even Bayern Munich are looking at Nunez.
Suggestions he could make a £70m move to England are bound to raise eyebrows. Especially among those Blades fans who remember the apparent interest in Nunez.
Obviously, we’ll never know what United’s intentions with Nunez were. But we all know the stories of Wilder having different targets in mind to Jan van Winkel.
Which does beg the question of did the club make an almighty error here in not going for Nunez? Time will tell, but the fact he’s been linked with a mega-money switch, suggests we’ve missed out…big time!