It’s blatantly obvious to all of us watching Sheffield United that natural width remains a problem in this side. Slavisa Jokanovic tried to tackle it in the summer, but managed to land only Morgan Gibbs-White as a solution.
Jokanovic has apparently told the board he plans on adding wide players in January. Gibbs-White has done well, as has Ben Osborn. But beyond that, the Serbian is essentially shoe-horning players into those wide positions.
United had been linked with a number of players who can fill those slots in the summer. But with January fast approaching, Jokanovic and his recruitment team need to have fresh targets in mind.
Here, then, are five who we feel the Blades could move for in January.
Ryan Sessegnon – Tottenham
Having worked with Jokanovic before, Sessegnon is an obvious name to throw into the hat for Sheffield United.
Since moving to Tottenham for around £25m, the England youngster hasn’t quite kicked on like many assumed he would. A loan spell with Hoffenheim was useful enough, but he’s missed out this season, mainly due to injury.
Sessegnon, though, should be back before January. And if he’s still not playing, then Jokanovic could try and tempt him to South Yorkshire. He’s a proven player at this level, and United fans will remember his brilliant hat-trick at The Lane just a few years ago.
Amad Diallo – Manchester United
Diallo is close to returning from injury and was on the United radar in the summer before injury struck. But now he’s close to coming back, it’s believed the Blades are back sniffing around.
The youngster would add pace, trickery, and the unexpected to the United squad from wide areas. Manchester United paid £37m for Diallo, so the talent is clearly there.
Whether or not the Blades are a big enough fish for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to consider sending Diallo to us, remains to be seen. But certainly, he’s one to keep tabs on.
Gabriel Martinelli – Arsenal
The Brazilian sensation is struggling for any sort of game time this season with Arsenal. Other players are keeping him out, so Martinelli is having to stay extremely patient.
There’s already talk in North London that Martinelli might be on his way out of Arsenal on a temporary basis. If true, then United need to be ready to throw their name in the mix.
Sure, it’s an unlikely one. But there’s no harm in trying, and Martinelli has the potential to be a world-class player.
Anthony Elanga – Manchester United
If Diallo proves too difficult to get, then United youngster Elanga should be someone else the Blades look at in January.
Elanga, 19, has already scored three in three at under-23 level this season and has made the bench in the Champions League. He’s highly-rated inside Old Trafford, and is already a Sweden under-21s regular.
A loan move will be the next step in Elanga’s career and the Blades could give him that stepping stone to prove himself.
Cole Palmer – Manchester City
Anyone who’s watched any of the England under-21 games recently will have realised that Cole Palmer is the real deal. In fact, he’s already come off the bench for City this year and Pep Guardiola rates him highly.
But, there’s nothing like getting games every week for a player’s development and with the plethora of talent at City, Palmer is unlikely to get regular minutes.
If a January move can be done, then Palmer is exactly the sort of player Sheffield United could use. Tricky, rangey, and with a touch of class in every touch, Jokanovic could certainly find a place in his Blades XI for the City starlet.