It’s not unfair to say that, in terms of fees anyway, Sheffield United haven’t attempted to give things a good go in the Premier League.
We all know the wage structure of the club holds us back at times. But in the main, United have been willing to spend on the right player when the time has come along.
Sander Berge, Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster have all arrived for around the £20m mark. Aaron Ramsdale just shy of that mark, while the likes of Lys Mousset, Derby duo Bogle and Lowe, and Callum Robinson have all cost decent fees in Blades terms.
Of course, these fees are nothing in comparison to what some of the Premier League spend. Man City, for example, signed Ruben Dias for over £60m to compliment a defence already containing John Stones (50m), Kyle Walker (£50m), and Aymeric Laporte (£57m)
Within United’s investments, some have paid off more than others.
Berge looks a quality player but is injured. McBurnie has spells looking great but lacks consistency. On the flipside, Lys Mousset is never fit, while Callum Robinson and Luke Freeman were both shipped out after just 12 months in Sheffield.
Could it be, then, that the club should look slightly different at how it approaches some transfer deals?
Leeds show the way with Jack Harrison business
There is obviously a lot that goes into a transfer. Money, agents, the player himself, contracts. All the usual things you’d associate with a player moving have to be considered by all parties.
But the news breaking today that Leeds are set to pay just £11m for Jack Harrison from Manchester City poses an interesting thought.
Harrison, still just 24, is in his third spell with Leeds now but still is classed as a loan player. In that time, he’s gone from bit-part winger to Premier League regular, scoring six goals this season and becoming integral to Marcelo Bielsa’s plans.
Sure, Leeds will have paid loan fees to keep Harrison as well as probably covering his wages. But Man City are happy for this to happen. It fits their own model. Sign players, develop them, loan them, sell them for profit if not deemed right for Guardiola’s first XI.
Leeds have done fantastically well out of this particular deal. £11m as a fee in itself is a bargain in 2021.
Sheffield United, then, could well look at this and consider it as an approach as we prepare for life back in the Championship.