If recent reports are to be believed, then Slavisa Jokanovic could be the next man in the Sheffield United managerial hotseat.
Jokanovic would be welcomed by many a Blade. His experience of getting teams out of the Championship, coupled with the exciting football he played with both Watford and Fulham, will appeal. Along with Alexander Blessin, he is a name that hasn’t gone away since Chris Wilder departed.
In terms of the Sheffield United squad, some members would surely welcome Jokanovic more than others. Of course, the Serbian would undoubtedly want some of his own players. That would inevitably mean some of the Blades squad pushed to one side.
But one player who could thrive under Jokanovic is Oliver Norwood. The midfielder thrived at Fulham under the Serb, and may well be hoping to see his former boss come through the Bramall Lane doors.
Jokanovic rates ‘very good player’ Norwood
During Fulham’s promotion season in the 2017/18 campaign, Norwood was an integral piece of the jigsaw for Jokanovic.
The Blades star played 41 times that season. And while he lost his way a bit towards the back end, he was still brought on in the playoff final to help Fulham see Villa off at Wembley.
Indeed, Jokanovic heaped praise on Norwood that season. Speaking towards the end of that campaign, the then-Fulham boss expressed his delight at Norwood’s performances.
“Oliver Norwood is an important player for myself and my team, it’s simple because I use him many games,” Jokanovic said at the time.
“He’s shown a high level of professionalism and he’s a very good player.”
Norwood, who’s been a shadow of himself this year like so many Blades stars, would surely welcome Jokanovic to Sheffield.
Yes, it didn’t quite work out in the Premier League at the time for Norwood or Jokanovic (he was sacked before Christmas). But a familiar face could do wonders for both the Blades star, and the potential new boss.
It’s worth noting Norwood played in a midfield three at Fulham. But unlike United’s system, there was three attackers to hit. Whether this is something Jokanovic would instill at United, remains to be seen.
Regardless, there has to be some hope that the appointment of Jokanovic may bring the best from Ollie Norwood. And that can only benefit United.