Sheffield United: Seven things we learned from the Blades' activity in the transfer window
The summer transfer window closed yesterday evening and it was a busy few months of comings and goings at Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder brought in no fewer than 10 new faces in a comprehensive recruitment drive as Sheffield United prepare for their first seaon in the top flight in 12 years.
Here we take a look at some of the things we learned from what was probably the club’s most important transfer window ever:
The transfer budget was far bigger than many expected
During the course of the summer the club broke its transfer record no fewer than four times.
Although many of the fees involved were undisclosed it is believe the Blades spent well over £40 million on transfer fees.
During the early part of the summer there was speculation that the transfer budget was around £20 million so many Blades fans have been pleasantly surprised with how much the club has been able to fork out.
Chris Wilder likes a ‘leftfield’ signing
At the start of the summer few would have predicted that Ravel Morrison would end up at Bramall Lane.
A player of huge, unfulfilled potential, Wilder’s decision to offer the 26-year-old a trial and subsequently a contract raised many eyebrowes across the world of football.
Only time will tell if the Blades boss is the one who is able to unlock Morrison’s potnetial.
‘Club Brexit’ no more
Some pundits have dubbed Sheffield United ‘Club Brexit’ due to the fact that under Wilder the squad has been made up almost entirely of British and Irish players.
In the last few weeks the Blades boss has demonstrated that he is not averse to foreign players and has snapped up no less than three in the form of French striker Lys Mousset, Dutch keeper Michael Verrips and Bosnian midfielder Mo Besic.
There’s no room for sentiment in football
As well as number of incoming players and have also been some departures from Bramall Lane this summer.
This has included fan favourites such as Paul Coutts and Mark Duffy who both helped the club’s spectacular rise from League One to the Premier League.
Chris Wilder has shown he has the managerial mettle to make this tough decisions.
The management team have been meticulous in their planning
Backed by the club’s co-owners, Chris Wilder, Alan Knill, CEO Stephen Bettis and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell have spearheaded the most significant player recruitment drive in the history of the club.
Between them they have been able to identify a number of targets in key positions and then managed to get these players in within the budget they were given.
This meticulous planning could prove crucial as United bid to secure Premier League survival this season.
Wilder’s remained true his winning formula
A key part of Sheffield United’s success under Chris Wilder has been in the transfer policy of recruiting largely young and hungry players who have the ambition to make a name for themself.
The Blades have been criticised in some quarters this summer for signing mostly players from Championship clubs rather than recruiting players with proven Premier League experience.
The manager has created a very special and unique spirit within the squad and this will have been at the forefront of his mind when drawing up his list of transfer targets.
New technology is superior to that faxmachine
Sheffield United’s track record on deadline day has not been the best.
In years gone by fans have been left disappointed on deadline day time and time again with no new players arriving. Key players departing the club on deadline day has often added insult to injury.
On one infamous occasion a fax machine was blamed for the club missing out on a deadline deal.
Thankfully, technology has now changed and clubs now submit their transfer paperwork to the league digitally.
Yesterday the Blades managed to make no less than two new deadline day signings with the arrival of Verrips and Besic.