Ipswich Town defender, Luke Woolfenden, recently showed why he could be the perfect Chris Basham backup for Sheffield United.

Woolfenden was linked with the Blades during the January transfer window. Ipswich manager Paul Lambert responded by saying the 21-year-old was worth at least £10m.

As it was, Woolfenden stayed put at Portman Road. Crystal Palace and Leeds United have since been linked with the young defender.

Instead, the Blades brought in Panos Retsos from Bayer Leverkusen on loan with the option to buy. Jack Robinson also arrived from Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile, Jack Rodwell was signed as a free agent and has since played at centre-back.

Yet there is a clear reason why Woolfenden still remains a potentially good option for Chris Wilder’s side.

Why Woolfenden could be great for Sheffield United

Luke Woolfenden
(Photo by Richard Calver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

TWTD claims that the Blades are still interested in Woolfenden, despite signing Retsos and Rodwell. And that could be because the youngster looks to be developing into great competition for Basham.

When the Tractor Boys beat Accrington Stanley 4-1 back in January, Woolfenden – playing in a three-man defence – surged forwards into attack.

Wilder has introduced the overlapping centre-back system that has been synonymous with the Blades. Now others appear to be taking note.

On this occasion, Woolfenden was given licence to burst up the flank – just as Basham has been seen to do on many occasions – before playing it to Kayden Jackson for a simple tap in.

He told the club’s official website why he enjoys the system: “We’re playing three at the back and that gives me a chance to get forward. I like to do that and I think that it has shown in recent games.

“To some extent we were doing it with two central defenders but now we know, if the ball is on your side, you have the licence to join in with attacks.

“If it’s not on then we provide the option to get the ball back then switch it to the other side. I think we’re all enjoying the style.”

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