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Opinion: Chris Wilder could try and poach key Sheffield United players if he gets West Brom job

Chris Wilder could try and poach some key Sheffield United players if he gets the West Brom job.

Wilder is said to be a popular choice at The Hawthorns to succeed Sam Allardyce this summer should he leave.

Like the Blades, West Bromwich Albion look set to be relegated from the Premier League this season. They are currently nine points from safety with five games remaining.

If the Baggies go down to the Championship, there is a break clause in the 18-month contract given to Allardyce when he took charge in December.

The West Midlands club are set to activate that and then could turn to Wilder.

It isn’t the first time they’ve shown interest in the 53-year-old. They tried to hire him in 2019 before Slaven Bilic was given the job.

At the time, Wilder had just guided United to promotion and stayed at Bramall Lane. A ninth place finish in the top flight followed, before his almost five-year stay in South Yorkshire came to an end last month.

Now Wilder is available and being linked with several positions. Although proposed moves to Celtic and Crystal Palace now seem unlikely.

Why Chris Wilder could poach players for West Brom

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We’ve written before about why facing Wilder as West Brom boss would be tough for the Blades from an emotional point-of-view.

Despite his somewhat acrimonious exit, he still retains legendary status at the club.

A boyhood fan and former player, Wilder is one of the greatest managers in United’s history having guided them from the bottom of League One to their highest finish since 1992 in just four years.

Yet him potentially taking charge at the Baggies could present further problems.

Many of the key performers at Bramall Lane rose through the divisions under Wilder. As Alan Biggs writes in The Sheffield Star, the majority remain loyal to him.

Therefore, if the Blades and West Brom were at the same level in the second tier, would some of them be tempted to jump ship and join Wilder?

Especially if they don’t have as much faith in whomever United decide to appoint as their next permanent manager.

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