Sheffield United might have added a number of new faces this summer, but it could have been even more had Paul Heckingbottom decided to take a few punts.
As we all know, the Blades sit under the United World umbrella now. It’s a fan-dividing concept, with United sitting at the top of the pyramid and smaller clubs from around the world sitting underneath, with the eventual hope that certain players might make the jump to Bramall Lane. It’s a model we’ve seen clubs like Manchester City move towards, and it’s a huge part of the current strategy at United.
However, as yet anyway, we have yet to see any player from the likes of Beerschot or Chateauroux make the jump across to England with United. Indeed, the closest we have got is the return of Ismaila Coulibaly this summer, who has impressed in pre-season.
And according to Yorkshire Live, it is down to United boss Heckingbottom as to why more United World players haven’t arrived in S2. Answering questions from fans on the club yesterday, YL’s Nathan Hemmingham explained that Heckingbottom hasn’t deemed anyone quite good enough just yet.
“Paul has been offered players from Beerschot and within the United World group but he has declined that invitation. I spoke with Abdullah Alghamdi, CEO of the group in Italy last month, and he confirmed that and said it’s an environment they would like to promote but won’t force it,” Hemmingham said.
“Paul did not believe the players he was offered were of the standard he required so it was left at that.”
Our View: Heckingbottom Has To Have The Final Say
When Hecky took over he was given the Head of Football title rather than just manager. So with that, it’s only natural that he have such an impact on who does come to the Blades from United World.
We’ve already heard of how tough Coulibaly has found things so it’s going to be the same sort of story for anyone else coming over, unless they are a truly exceptional talent.
United seem to have things going the right way here. It’s vital Heckingbottom has the overall say, and in fairness to the board, it does appear that’s the way it’s gone as of now.