Sheffield United chief executive, Stephen Bettis, has explained just why the Blades moved to appoint Slavisa Jokanovic to replace Chris Wilder.
Bettis, along with Prince Abdullah and the board, completed the appointment of Jokanovic a few weeks back. The Serbian will return to England from Qatar, where he’s been managing Al-Gharafa.
Jokanovic was the number one man among a host of Sheffield United fans to replace Wilder. After initially seeming to miss out on the now famed ‘shortlist’, United moved for Jokanovic after the sombre home loss to Crystal Palace.
CEO Bettis has given an extensive interview this week to Sky Sports. In it, he discusses the future, transfers, and the drive for an immediate return to the Premier League.
Interestingly, Bettis also revealed what made Jokanovic stand out.
“You need a strong character after Chris. Slav’s definitely that and I think he’ll show it when he gets here and starts working with the players,” Bettis admitted.
“His track record with Fulham and Watford shows he can get clubs out of the Championship. Which is absolutely our desire for next season.
“He’s very confident in his own abilities. And when you really start getting into the detail of his philosophy; the way he plays, the way he wants to incorporate young players, that was a big plus for us.”
Within that statement, there are three big reasons. The track record speaks for itself. The big character is also something most who follow football will be aware of with Jokanovic. But it is the willingness to include the youth that is intriguing.
Which young players could get their chance under Jokanovic at Sheffield United?
Paul Heckingbottom has already laid the foundations for this. A number of young players got their chance under the interim boss. In fairness, too, Chris Wilder also gave Antwoine Hackford his debut prior to Hecky.
Jokanovic, meanwhile, is not scared to use youngsters. He gave Ryan Sessegnon his big chance, while Harvey Elliott also broke through at Fulham.
At Bramall Lane, there are now big things expected of Daniel Jebbison. The teenager finished the season with a flurry, and looks every bit ready.
Ky Gordon – who is being watched by Liverpool – has been in and around the squad, while Harrison Boyes also got himself involved before the season finished.
Of course, some of these players will go out on loan. But you would imagine they’ll have time to impress in the summer. And with fans returning (hopefully) in August, there’s a real chance to blood some of these young talents further.