Alan Biggs: Chris Wilder won’t be slow in bolstering his strikeforce at Sheffield United

Hometown boys Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd and Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd during the open top bus parade from Bramall Lane Stadium to Sheffield Town Hall, Sheffield.  Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Hometown boys Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd and Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd during the open top bus parade from Bramall Lane Stadium to Sheffield Town Hall, Sheffield. Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Embroidery. A tricky task for any man, with or without a drink inside him!

And no less tricky in the metaphorical sense as Chris Wilder looks to stitch on some extra quality without picking apart the tight-knit fabric of Sheffield United’s revival formula.

The timing is difficult, too. Ideally, you’d spend all summer long basking in the glow of a job superbly well done.

In reality, Wilder and the board have been planning for the Championship for many months.

It seems churlish, not to say impossible, to find fault with or question the future of any of the players who starred in United’s finest season for more than a decade and one of the most vivid in their history, inspiring unforgettable scenes at Tuesday’s civic reception.

But it is easy to pinpoint one thing that, collectively, they lack.

And it’s a shortfall that makes the last campaign even more remarkable.

Pace. There is not a lot of it in the current team. Wilder and Alan Knill have found a way to keep winning without it.

As a quality, pace is at a premium in the game. It’s not in extreme evidence in many sides, and therefore expensive.

But you’d reckon it is near the top of the list of what Wilder feels he needs to add.

And talking of lists, there will be ones for each of the positions he wants to fill.

Which is why the names that emerge in the rumour mill are not necessarily those of the top targets for a position.

Or if they are, there will be others earmarked who are similar.

It’s in that context that this column throws up a player consistently linked with the Blades for some time.

Lee Gregory is, I understand, on the list – but it will stretch further.

He’s quick and a predator; 53 goals for Millwall at around a one-in-two ratio. Maybe gettable – if Millwall miss out in the League One play-offs.

The already acquired Ched Evans also has a turn of speed but at least one more striker signing is planned.

Even with a lot of armoury in this area, Wilder seems to have adopted the Neil Warnock mantra of “you can never have too many.”

But he won’t be discounting what he has.

There are those who will question, even after an epic 30 goals in the promotion push, whether Billy Sharp can still be consistently effective higher up.

That reckons without the huge motivation he draws from captaining his boyhood favourites, not to mention his regular scoring at Championship level in spells with Doncaster, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Leeds.

He’s 31 but what does that matter?

Never fitter, by his own admission, and with finely honed instinct and experience to counteract the pace he’s always told he lacks.

Caolan Lavery, younger and a long way from peaking, is another who can cut it out in the Championship, as he showed already at Sheffield Wednesday.

Leon Clarke has a record there, too.

You can be sure United will have quite a few guns blazing.