With the start of the Championship season now less than two weeks away, it’s safe to say Sheffield United have hardly lit up the transfer market.
Slavisa Jokanovic has yet to bring anyone in. Links to Tom Cairney have proved fruitless so far, while a push to bring in a left-sided central defender also seems to have gone quiet. Liverpool’s Ben Davies, one of those being mentioned for that position.
However, reports in recent days have suggested that another Liverpool player, Harvey Elliott, could be a target. Jokanovic knows him well from the Fulham days, and after a successful loan with Blackburn, the 18-year-old could go out again.
But while Sheffield United fans will rightly be excited by Elliott, is there a chance the Blades have burnt their bridges when it comes to Liverpool?
History could well suggest that might be the case.
Klopp and Wilder, Brewster and Woodburn, it doesn’t bode well
It’s a new era at Sheffield United, as we all know. Chris Wilder – and now Alan Knill – are gone. In their place are Slavisa Jokanovic and his experienced coaching team.
But Liverpool and Sheffield United haven’t exactly had rip-roaring success between themselves in recent times.
First, there was the ill-fated loan spell of Ben Woodburn. A promising young player, but one who couldn’t break into the first-team. Indeed, the young Welshman has described his time with the Blades as ‘real low’.
Secondly, there was the apparent ‘beef’ between Chris Wilder and Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss and the then-United manager had more than one run-in last term. The Reds boss branded Wilder ‘selfish’ for his view on the five subs rule. Wilder, naturally, continued to wind up the German.
Finally, there’s the situation with Rhian Brewster. Yes, Liverpool will be delighted with the £20m+ fee they received. But looking on, will they be impressed with how he’s done at Bramall Lane and the opportunities he’s had? Probably not.
United’s hopes of landing Elliott would appear to rest with their new manager. Can he use his experience and relationship with Elliott to convince the youngster to come to Bramall Lane?
Can he convince Klopp that it’s a different ball-game now at Bramall Lane, and that Elliott won’t follow the path of Woodburn or Brewster.
Obviously, the teenager would be a superb signing. But it rests on United giving him the chance to shine. And that’s something we can only trust Jokanovic to do.
With a bit of luck, Jurgen Klopp looks past the last 12 months and sees Bramall Lane as ideal for his young upstart.