Sheffield United will need to make key signings if they are to have a fighting chance of staying up next season.
After winning promotion to the Premier League, the Blades know that anything but a strong summer window will see them fall some way short of being successful.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom is believed to know where his budget sits after meeting Prince Abdullah. The expectation is that it won’t be high, unless there is a takeover before the start of the season.
Bargains, loans, and potentially free transfers are going to be key for Heckingbottom and United.
And one man who could be available to return to Bramall Lane is England international, Conor Coady.
According to the Daily Mail, Coady is facing an uncertain future as it stands. He has fallen down the ladder at Everton since Sean Dyche came in. James Tarkowski and Michael Keane are currently ahead of him.
At Wolves, The Mail reports how Craig Dawson, Max Kilman, Toti Gomes and Nathan Collins are all now above Coady in the pecking order.
That’s left Coady with a decision to make this summer. And one option could be a return to Sheffield United.
Coady spent time as a youngster with the Blades during the Nigel Clough era. The England international was part of the United side that got to an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
At that time, Coady played in midfield for United. As we know, he’s since matured into a top central defender and was part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in the winter.
While at Bramall Lane, Coady was well-liked by Blades fans. Now 30, he has bags of experience at the top level, having played more than 170 games in the Premier League.
In a transfer window where the right characters, profile and quality will be vital for United, Coady ticks a lot of boxes.
As we know, the Blades need to address a few positions this summer. One big one is getting someone in who can not only cover for John Egan, but directly challenge him and potentially play alongside.
In Conor Coady, United would be getting an international player who wants to play football. He wouldn’t break the bank and given his affinity to the club from that loan spell, could well be open to the move.
Sometimes, it’s about raising the standards and levels off the field and in training as well. Every manager Coady has had has spoken of his influence in the dressing room.
“Conor made me feel good sat next to me yesterday (at the pre-match press conference). He’s got that real infectious personality. I know he doesn’t go up for set-plays for his club so I’m sure he’s enjoyed that moment.Gareth Southgate on Conor Coady
Those are characteristics you can’t teach and they fit in well with this current squad.
In terms of ideal defensive signings, Conor Coady could well be what Sheffield United are looking for.