Aston Villa star with 'captain mentality' told he would 'thrive' at Sheffield United
Midfield is an area that Sheffield United are most definitely looking at strengthening this summer.
The Blades are a little short following the departure of John Lundstram to Rangers at the end of the last season upon the expiry of his Bramall Lane deal.
And it also remains expected that Sander Berge will not be hanging around in the Championship, despite manager Slavisa Jokanovic insisting he will do everything he can to keep the Norway international at S2.
With that in mind, a number of players have begun to be linked to a move to United and one would appear to be a decent shout.
Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane was linked with a move to the Blades over the weekend, with the Republic of Ireland international deemed surplus to requirements in Dean Smith’s squad.
West Brom are also said to be tracking the 30-year-old.
And one former Villa player believes that Bramall Lane is the perfect place for a man who spent last season on loan in the Championship with Swansea, helping his side to the Play-Off Final where they lost to Brentford.
Alan Hutton accepts that it is time for Hourihane to ‘move on’ and believes the player would ‘thrive’ under Jokanovic.
“He’s in the last year of his contract, and he’s been an amazing servant,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“However, the time is probably right for him to move on.
“I can’t see it being a loan deal since he has just one year left, Villa will be looking to sell him on.
“He deserves to be playing for a top-end Championship side, he’s got the ability to play at that level – and higher.
“Sheffield United would be a good move, he’s definitely got that captain mentality. They’ve obviously lost [John] Lundstram as well to Rangers, so there’s a void left for Conor.
“Sheffield United are the sort of team he can settle into and thrive at.”
Hourihane joined Villa after a superb spell in South Yorkshre with Barnsley where he won the Football League Trophy and promotion from League One into the Championship via the play-offs, under the guidance of current Sheffield United under-23s manager Paul Heckingbottom.