We’re over the halfway mark in January now and there is still little sign of a player or two coming through the doors at Sheffield United.
Chris Wilder has made no secret of his desire to bring in a number of players to help out his struggling squad this month. A fair few names have been linked, with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Omar Colley, Ben Davies, and John Swift among those being mentioned.
But, as yet, the Blades have nothing to show for any efforts behind the scenes and Wilder is doing the best he can with an injury ravaged squad at Bramall Lane.
The United boss has previously made reference to how difficult it is to bring players in. Especially in January, when it seems clubs wait until the very last minute to do anything. Wilder has also noted in the past that some of the numbers (in terms of wages) are figures most fans wouldn’t believe.
It’s widely accepted among local media and Sheffield United fans that the higher earners at Bramall Lane are around the £30k-a-week mark, maybe slightly higher in some cases with bonuses and clauses.
Those figures pale in comparison to any other Premier League club. Take Burnley, for example. A club we could model ourselves on but an established top-flight club nonetheless.
Spotrac claims their top earners are on the £50k-a-week mark. And there’s a few of them, such as Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, and Chris Wood. In fact, barring a couple of youngsters, their lowest earner is still getting around the £25k mark.
And that is what United are up against. Yes, there is an argument that we should push the boat out a bit more. But we don’t want to implode when we do – inevitably – drop back into the Championship. Indeed, it’s easy to forget Burnley did drop back down, before establishing themselves under Sean Dyche.
Our summer recruitment has been under the spotlight. Wilder has had to take a few punts, on younger players with potential, rather than proven talent on massive wages.
The example with Josh King is merely a highlight in a situtation that United and no doubt other clubs find themselves in. It’s all well and good identifying a few players who’d fit the bill. But getting those deals over the line, and not falling into the trap of these ridiculous sums, is another matter entirely.