Chris Wilder has confirmed that Oliver Norwood will be joining Sheffield United permanently in January.
Norwood is currently on loan at Bramall Lane from Brighton and Hove Albion. Part of that deal allows the Blades to make the switch permanent when the transfer window reopens.
However, the impressive performances of the midfielder arose concerns another club could swoop in for him.
Yet Wilder has allayed those fears and has confirmed that Norwood will indeed be a United player come January 1.
“It’s done, it’s dusted and everything is sorted,” the Blades boss told the Sheffield Star. “There’s no way anything is happening other than Ollie coming here. In fact, I already think of him as being our player.”
“If anybody tells you anything else can happen, then they’re wrong. They’ve clearly not read the documents or spoken to the people involved.”
How important is Norwood?
It is believed by many that one of the main reasons Wilder’s side dropped out of the promotion race last season was Paul Coutts’ injury.
Coutts suffered a broken leg during the 3-1 win at Burton Albion on 17 November 2017 – a result which moved the Blades top of the Championship with 12 victories from 17 games.
Without the talismanic midfielder they only won a further eight league matches and finished tenth. It was glaringly apparent just how reliant they were on Coutts.
So Wilder sought to address the situation during the summer and signed Norwood as he continued to struggle for game time at Brighton.
It is testament to the impact of the 27-year-old that with Coutts now fully fit following 11 months out, he can no longer get in the team.
Having both options is hugely important for Wilder and may help United make a genuine promotion attempt this time around.
Plus, with it reported that Norwood will cost £2m, it seems like the manager has been shrewd once again.