Aaron Ramsdale (gk) Bournemouth; Wes Foderingham (gk) Rangers; Callum Robinson (mid) WBA – end of loan;
Dean Henderson (r) (gk) Man United – end of loan; Luke Freeman (sp) (mid) Nottingham Forest – on loan; Kieron Freeman (sp) (def) released; Ben Heneghan (def) released; Mark Duffy (mid) released; Rikcy Holmes (mid) released; Ravel Morisson (mid) released; Nathan Thomas (mid) released; Leon Clarke (att) released; Jake Eastwood (gk) Kilmarnock – on loan;
Sheffield defied the odds last term on their return to the top flight and, instead of being relegated as everyone expected, they stayed in the top 10 for most of the campaign and up until the COVID-break even looked viable challengers for Europe. Coach Wilder’s tactics and his bombing forward wing-backs is the main reason for the successes. Sheffield showed clear signs of slowing down past the COVID-break, though, and this must be worrying.
The main change in the off season so far is on goal. After 2 very successful years between the posts, Henderson returned to his parent club and to replace him Wilder signed Bournemouth’s custodian Ramsdale. He is a good prospect, but in only one season as regular for the Cherries his displays were far from consistent.
The outlook right now looks pretty much the same. Wilder never deviates from his favourite 3-5-2 shape and all 10 field players that were regulars last season are expected to be starting most of the games again. Reports that United struggle financially due to the lack of fans suggest that not many money are available for strengthening of the ranks.
The clear game plan and the solid way the group of players is executing it is the main strength of the Blades. Their wing-backs are extremely aggressive, but also pretty solid when having to defend and both Stevens and Baldock have key roles in the squad.
The lack of depth is a reason for serious concern, though, especially with the schedule this term set to be much more congested. Also, after a full year of analysing Wilder’s tactics it can be expected that opposing teams will be much better prepared to deal with Sheffield this season.
Aim is to finish mid-table, but expected to find it hard to be as successful as last season. Some pundits even expect the Blades to be relegated!