A high price to pay for cashing in on costly Ched

Get what you pay for: Ched Evans, proof goals don't come cheap
Get what you pay for: Ched Evans, proof goals don't come cheap
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SHEFFIELD United appear to have found themselves in a Catch-22 situation during the transfer window.

And, unlike the Tyrrhenian island of Pianosa, at Bramall Lane this logical paradox has been proven to exist.

Relegated from the Championship last season, the League One club cannot afford to keep high earners such as Ched Evans.

But neither, having established themselves as automatic promotion contenders, can they afford to lose those names who have played such an influential role in guiding Danny Wilson’s squad to within seven points of divisional leaders Charlton.

So what is to be done?

How best can United, who recently confirmed they will comply with new regulations limiting a team’s spending to a proportion of what it earns, strike a balance between sensible financial husbandry and sporting concerns?

Thankfully, it is not a problem I am charged with solving.

At times like this, journalists, supporters and commentators can simply snipe, carp and profess to have all the answers while knowing full well that, barring some sort of unprecedented job swap, the substance of our answers will never be put to the test.

But I’ll offer one anyway.

And that is, barring a flurry of absolutely stellar bids being submitted for the likes of Stephen Quinn, Nick Montgomery and the aforementioned Ched, the whole process of reducing an exorbitant wage bill takes place over three, possibly four, transfer windows rather than one.

Wilson would undoubtedly prefer evolution to revolution.

Only the most foolhardy of folk would argue that United’s well-being both this season and beyond is best served by relying on the continued goodwill and means of its benefactors.

But neither, with a top two place tantalisingly close, would it make sense to pull the rug from under Wilson’s feet by launching a fire sale of the options presently at his disposal.

Instead, proceeding slowly but surely towards sustainability seems the most sagacious approach.

One which would both allow directors to ensure United remain a viable concern going forward and Wilson to address some of the most pressing issues facing his posse of Championship chasers.

Certainly, his decision to try to identify a striker or midfielder capable of delivering a steady supply of goals makes perfect sense.

Evans, who was yesterday praised by Wilson for not allowing a well-documented personal issue to cast a shadow over his professional life, has scored 39 per cent of United goals since returning to action following injury in September.

A statistic which, whilst being welcomed by Wilson, is also likely to fill him with dread.

After all, what would happen if the Wales international suddenly became ineligible for selection?

Heaven - or should that be Nefoedd? - forbid.