Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is looking forward to wrestling with some awkward selection dilemmas as Ricky Holmes prepares to complete his transfer to Bramall Lane.
Holmes, the Charlton Athletic attacker, is poised to become United’s fourth new signing of the transfer window after the two clubs agreed a fee last week.
With James Wilson, Ryan Leonard and Lee Evans also arriving in South Yorkshire since the window reopened, Wilder admitted: “I’ve got 20 or so players who are all desperate to be involved and, unfortunately, some of those are going to be disappointed. But these are the type of decisions you want to be forced to make, you don’t ever want it to be easy. When it’s easy, it means something has probably gone wrong.”
United could hand Holmes, Leonard and Evans their debuts at Norwich City this weekend after Wilson, on loan from Manchester United, featured as a second-half substitute during Friday’s draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
“We want people pushing to be involved,” Wilder, whose options will be bolstered further when Ched Evans (ankle) and Kieron Freeman (knee) return to action, continued. “That, the numbers, is one of the things we’ve learnt about the division and how important it is. We’re always trying to improve on what we do, always looking for ways to get better, and we feel that’s one way we can do it. Every single one of the the lads who have come in are more than capable of playing, and that’s what we want.”
Holmes, aged 30, previously played under Wilder at Northampton Town and has scored six times in 26 appearances so far this season. Although Wilder has yet to comment on the situation publicly, Karl Robinson, his counterpart at The Valley described the move as “inevitable” over the weekend.
“We have to go shopping in different pots to a lot of the clubs around us,” Wilder said. “But that doesn’t mean there’s not real quality out there. There is.”