Jayden Bogle is the one new signing this season to truly break into the Sheffield United starting XI against the odds.
The club’s recruitment ahead of 2020/21 has been heavily criticised as the Blades have taken a huge step back.
They achieved their highest league position since 1992 last term when they finished ninth in their first Premier League campaign in 12 years.
Yet at the halfway stage this time around they are rock bottom with just one win from 19 league games. With five points currently, they’re on course for the lowest total in Premier League history.
They have failed to improve their starting XI with those brought in for the new season.
Aaron Ramsdale has played every game but one in all competitions since returning to Bramall Lane from Bournemouth, but the goalkeeper has also come in for his fair share of criticism.
Max Lowe, who arrived from Derby County alongside Bogle, was given his chance when Enda Stevens was injured and struggled. Stevens has since returned to the side.
Record signing Rhian Brewster is yet to score for the club, while Oli Burke has shown glimpses of form but never consistently.
Ethan Ampadu finally appears to have settled into a role in the back three after failing to impress in midfield and Wes Foderingham has played just once in the Carabao Cup.
Ampadu is also on loan from Chelsea, so his progress is less exciting as he will be returning to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Jayden Bogle the standout among the new faces
Of all the new signings, Bogle would probably have been low among those expected to break into the first team.
There were – and still are – big expectations of Brewster and Ramsdale. Yet Bogle, who is just 20-years-old, was set to operate as backup to George Baldock.
Baldock had, after all, started all 38 of United’s league fixtures last term.
After playing in the Carabao Cup defeat to Burnley, Bogle had to wait until December for his first league appearance. But the right-back ensured it was one to remember, scoring as the Blades picked up only their second point of the campaign at that point in a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion.
When Bogle was presented with another opportunity against Crystal Palace a few weeks later with a start, he seized it.
Since then, partly due to injury to Baldock, the youngster has made the wing-back role his own.
Bogle has started the past four matches in all competitions. Meanwhile, Baldock has had to watch from the bench.
“Jayden had an opportunity when the door opened for him and took it,” Wilder said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Plymouth Argyle.
“Now his task is to keep an excellent player out of the team.
“It’s tough competition and a tough learning curve for him from every aspect of the game. He’s doing fine.”
Bogle is a positive for United
After that strike at Brighton, Bogle has since scored a second for his new club in the 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers in the last round of the FA Cup.
Amazingly, this makes the defender the second highest scorer for the Blades this term alongside Billy Sharp and behind David McGoldrick.
That perhaps says more about a lack of attacking threat from Wilder’s team, but still, Bogle is clearly making an impression.
As for the player himself, he’s happy to be given the opportunity and to learn from Baldock.
“I’m enjoying my football at the moment,” Bogle told the media.
“There’s a lot of competition throughout the squad. I think it’s healthy competition, because it helps everyone step their game up to the next level.
“George is a fantastic player and he’s been brilliant since I’ve come here. I’ve learned a few things off him as well.”