Sheffield United fans column: Judging the success rate of Chris Wilder's 37 signings in his time at Bramall Lane

I may have missed one or two, but by my reckoning Chris Wilder has signed 37 players for Sheffield United in two years and three months.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 12:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 12:20 pm
Blades boss Chris Wilder

That's some turnover of staff. Of those members of the first-team squad who were here when he arrived, only Billy Sharp, Chris Basham and Kieron Freeman are current regulars, although Paul Coutts would be if he were fully fit.

Some 18 of those 37 are no longer at the club, because they were on loan, they were not retained or they have been since sent out on loan. This does not mean that all of those were failures; some in particular made important contributions to the promotion season, such as Ethan Ebanks-Landell, James Hanson, Jay O'Shea and Samir Carruthers.

Blades boss Chris Wilder

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Even the first James Wilson scored the winning goal against Oxford that set United on their merry way after three defeats and a draw.

More disappointing are those who joined the club in the last year but didn't make the grade for one reason or another and have been sent out on loan: Nathan Thomas, Ben Heneghan, Ricky Holmes and to a lesser extent Ched Evans.

The loan players brought in by Wilder have had mixed success: Harry Chapman and Joe Riley were injured before they had a chance to play much, Jamal Blackman was tremendous, James Wilson (2) was very poor, and Cameron Carter-Vickers was the most accident-prone defender we have had for a long time.

Then there's Lee Evans, who looked the best of last January's signings, but when approached by Wigan "expressed an enthusiasm to leave", which was a strange one indeed. But there seems to be a silver lining - Evans had to leave to enable us to get Oliver Norwood, who on limited viewing looks to be a notch above.

John Fleck of Sheffield United

So Wilder's signings have been something of a mixed bag, but then you could say the same for all managers from Real Madrid to Real Madras. So who have been Wilder's most successful recruits?

It's obvious really; in no particular order, Jack O'Connell, Mark Duffy, Jake Wright, John Fleck, Leon Clarke, Simon Moore, Enda Stevens, George Baldock, John Lundstram and Richard Stearman.

It's too early to judge this summer's signings, and even Ryan Leonard, but it'd be good if they could add their names to the 'success' list not the 'gone' list.

Matthew's list of Wilder signings: James Wilson (1), Chris Hussey, Jack O'Connell, John Fleck, Leon Clarke, Jake Wright, Mark Duffy, Caolan Lavery, Harry Chapman, Simon Moore, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Daniel Lafferty, Reece Brown, Samir Carruthers, James Hanson, Jay O'Shea, Joe Riley, Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas, Enda Stevens, George Baldock, Richard Stearman, Jamal Blackman, John Lundstram, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Clayton Donaldson, Ben Heneghan, Ryan Leonard, Lee Evans, Ricky Holmes, James Wilson (2), Dean Henderson, John Egan, David McGoldrick, Ben Woodburn, Kean Bryan, Oliver Norwood.