Blades boss Slavisa Jokanović has experimented with a 4-3-3 shape since taking charge at Bramall Lane, but has had to utilise his traditional strikers wide because of a lack of wingers in the squad he inherited from Chris Wilder earlier this year.
A move for Collado signalled Jokanović’s intention to bring more wide men into the building to arrest his side’s poor start to the Championship season, and Barcelona-based Sport report today that Collado has agreed to the switch after accepting he would not get regular minutes for Ronald Koeman’s side this season.
Sport report that Collado was close to a switch elsewhere earlier in the window, but the move broke down.
United have chased him for weeks, the report adds, and the interest of Jokanović’s staff and what Sport report is a “good financial offer” finally convinced him. There will be no option in the deal for the Blades to purchase Collado.
Described as an attacking midfielder who can also play wide, the link makes sense in that Collado could strengthen United in a couple of areas – out wide if Jokanović goes with a 4-3-3 and potentially in the No.10 role if he sticks with 3-5-2 and tweaks it slightly to accommodate an attacking midfielder.
Collado is described by Barcelona as “a left-footed midfielder with Barça DNA. He has excellent vision and is a superb reader of the game.
“Very good at selecting the right option when passing, he’s also very skillful when attacking, has a great shot and is difficult to beat in one-on-one situations.”
The 22-year-old’s future appeared to be in doubt when Koeman said recently: “Collado knows his situation perfectly, there is a lot of competition for him and he has to find something to play with.”
Collado is under contract at Barca until the summer of 2023, and a loan move would appear to suit all parties. He clearly has some pedigree – his two appearances for Barca’s first team so far have come off the bench, but still came in the colours of arguably the biggest club on the planet – and playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Antwoine Griezmann, however briefly, is only going to have a positive impact.