Blades boss, Chris Wilder, has admitted that he sees Wolves as the type of club Sheffield United should look to learn from.
Under Nuno Santo and with big investment from owners, Fosun, the Molineux outfit have cemented themselves in the Premier League. After romping to promotion in both League One then the Championship, their story is not too dissimilar to the Blades.
Of course, Wolves spent bigger sums of money than United in the Championship. They signed the likes of Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota, before splashing out again in the top-flight on the likes of Raul Jimenez and Jonny.
But rather than be envious, Blades boss Wilder has admitted his admiration for Wolves.
“They are a great example. Positive in their approach. Kept the side they had and added which is what we all want or try to do. They are a powerful football club and deservedly took their place in the PL,” Wilder said (BBC Radio Sheffield).
“They’ve gone from strength to strength. They are quite a way ahead of us at the moment but one we look at. If investment comes into the team, it gives us a chance of competing with the likes of Wolves, definitely”.
United travel to Molineux this weekend looking to keep up their unbeaten away record. Wolves, meanwhile, have only lost once at home all season, to Chelsea. It’s all set to be a high quality, attacking game between fifth and sixth in the Premier League.
How Wolves have built their success in the PL
Make no mistake, Wolves have been aided financially. They’ve also had the added bonus of having links to so-called ‘Super Agent’, Jorge Mendes.
However, that doesn’t mean their achievements should be overlooked. Wolves finished an impressive seventh last season and put in some superb performances. They were excellent against the better teams in the league too, a crucial aspect of their performances that helped them into Europe.
Nuno Santo has employed a fluid 3-4-3 formation. Much like Chris Wilder, he’s used what he feels will get the best out of his team and then added quality to it when he can.
Furthermore, he’s not taken a hammer to the entire thing either. Conor Coady, Willy Boly, Matt Doherty, Ruben Neves, and Diogo Jota were all part of their Championship winning side.
It’s worked well for Santo. He’s added the likes of Jonny, Jimenez, and Joao Moutinho to help that team get even better.
Wolves and Sheffield United do have their similarities and Chris Wilder will no doubt be hoping to match Nuno Santo’s men come the end of the campaign.