Sheffield United are already being linked with potential January signings, with The Sun on Sunday (October 27, page 61) claiming Swansea City’s Joe Rodon is of interest.
Despite the joint best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season, apparently manager Chris Wilder wants to improve the Blades back line.
And the south Yorkshire club is ready to spend big. Which is just as well, because Rodon is said to be worth close to the £20m United paid the Swans for Oli McBurnie over the summer.
Swansea are vulnerable to losing their best players. Also, Rodon is likely to be tempted by a move to the top flight of English football.
However, is a new centre-back really what the Blades need?
Why Joe Rodon may not be the best choice for Sheffield United
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United have a well settled central defence that much of their success this term has been built on. Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell have started all ten of their league matches so far in 2019/20.
During that time Wilder’s men have conceded just eight goals – a record only matched by Liverpool and Leicester City. Only Manchester City have kept more than their four clean sheets.
Beyond the trio there is also adequate cover in the position. The experienced Phil Jagielka rejoined his boyhood club this summer after 12 years at Everton. He is joined by fellow veteran Richard Stearman and Kean Bryan as other options at centre-back.
Even if there is injury or suspension at the back, Wilder can call on solid alternatives. Yet that appears to be less of the case at wing-back.
George Baldock and Enda Stevens have also played in every league fixture to date this campaign. They provide much of the width to the side and have impressed in their roles.
But beyond them cover is provided by Kieron Freeman on the right and Ben Osborn on the left. Freeman is yet to be tested in the Premier League, while Osborn is generally considered to be a midfielder.
Any long-term absence to either Baldock or Stevens could cause a major issue in Wilder’s system. Perhaps rather than Rodon, cover for them is a more pressing issue.