Sheffield United: Players with potential and a point to prove will be the focus during this summer’s recruitment drive, as Chris Wilder’s side prepares for the Premier League

Sheffield United are drawing-up a list of provisional transfer targets as they prepare for life in the Premier League, with Chris Wilder again expected to focus on players with a point to prove rather than established top-flight names.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 6:40 pm
Sheffield United's John Fleck (left) and Mark Duffy have been excellent acquisitions: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Speaking after United secured their place in the top-flight next season with a match to spare, Wilder insisted it would be a mistake to change the character of a squad which has now won two promotion in two of the last three seasons under his stewardship.

That is expected to see the 51-year-old and his staff concentrate their efforts on identifying talent yet to make a names for themselves at the highest of the game but with the potential to prosper among English football's elite.Swansea City centre-forward Ollie McBurnie and Brentford's Neal Maupay are examples of the type of potential acquisitions who fit the profile United's coaching staff are believed to have compiled. But Wilder has yet to elaborate on his plans for this summer's recruitment drive, beyond the fact he thinks it would be a mistake to make wholesale changes on the pitch.

"There's so many great stories here," Wilder said. "Lads like Mark Duffy who have come up the hard way and will now be going to places like Anfield.

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Sheffield United's David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp will be given opportunities to play in the Premier League: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

"It's only right that they are given the opportunity to show what they can do up there and what we think they can do as well."

Although funds will be placed at Wilder's disposal to strengthen his options - United can expect to bank well over £100m after clawing themselves out of the Championship - the 51-year-old has stressed it would be a mistake to start lavishing "ridiculous" sums on new signings.

McBurnie has experienced life in the Premier League with his club Swansea City while Maupay, Brentford's attacking midfielder, represented Nice and Saint-Étienne in Ligue 1 before heading to England.

Wilder has spoken of his admiration for both in the past but will assess the market as a whole before revealing his hand when the window reopens later this month.

Chris Wilder is a shrewd operator in the transfer market: James Wilson/Sportimage

United travel to Stoke City this weekend in second, five points clear of third-placed Leeds and three behind leaders Norwich City with a superior goal difference.

Premier League football is heading back to Bramall Lane: Tim Goode/PA Wire