Oliver McBurnie (att) Swansea; Lys Mousset (att) Bournemouth; Callum Robinson (mid) Preston NE; Luke Freeman (mid) QPR; Phil Jagielka (def) Everton; Ben Osborn (mid) Nottingham Forest; Ravel Morrison (mid) Ostersunds; Dean Henderson (gk) Man United U23 – on loan;
Danny Lafferty (sp) (def) released; Martin Cranie (sp) (def) Luton; Paul Coutts (sp) (mid) Fleetwood; Conor Washington (sp) (att) Hearts; Caolan Lavery (att) released; Jake Eastwood (gk) Scunthorpe – on loan; Nathan Thomas (mid) Carlisle – on loan;
Sheffield United were the surprise package of last season, with the old-fashioned style of play preached by coach Wilder somehow giving the Blades enough sharpness so they get promoted.
Wilder is a very controversial person, openly confessing that he is a ‘mild racist’, with the football he preaches very similar to what Burnley have been using for some years now. Physical presence on the pitch, hard tackles, bumps and hits, threat from set pieces and general aggression even when it’s not needed are all typical features of United’s displays.
All of the new players signed this summer were selected to fit this style, and it’s clear Wilder is not planning to change a thing.
The squad looks incomplete only a week before the end of the transfer window though, with lots of the players hardly having any top flight experience under their belts. Big money was paid for the 2 new strikers Mousset and McBurnie, but neither has a great scoring record, and both are yet to shine much at this level.
Same can be said about all other signings, apart from veteran centre-back Jagielka. He has other issues, with most of the last 2 years spent on the sidelines taking away his speed and agility already.
One thing the Blades will certainly do is work extremely hard in every home match, but the lack of technically gifted players and the introduction of VAR are factors that most likely will see United punished regularly if they get over aggressive.
Staying in the division is the dream, but achieving it is very unlikely with the squad available.