Sheffield United: Why Callum Robinson believes Chris Wilder has performed a masterstroke ahead of Premier League return
Callum Robinson believes Sheffield United's transfer policy, which focuses on passion rather than Premier League experience, could prove a masterstroke when the club makes its long-awaited return to top-flight football on Saturday.
After sourcing the majority of his summer signings from the Championship, manager Chris Wilder has been accused by some observers of deliberately preparing a squad capable of bouncing straight back if United are relegated next term.
But one of those new arrivals - former Preston North End centre-forward Robinson - is convinced Wilder's actions have enhanced United's survival prospects as they prepare for their first taste of elite level football since 2007.
"You see lots of teams come up and spend millions on players who have spent their entire careers up there, or most of them at the very least," Robinson said. "I'm not saying they're not good players. Clearly they are. But, do you know what? There's nothing wrong with going for younger ones either.
"That's what we've done here, gone for young'ish players with a real point to prove and who are hungry to show what they can do at the highest level. That, for me, can be worth its weight in gold. I also reckon it makes us even stronger too, because everyone here - no matter when they came in or how they got here - has got that desire and determination to show the people who say something different that they're wrong and what we're all about."
Although Wilder's latest recruitment strategy is born partly out of necessity - as he looks to deliver value for money in a market dominated by financial behemoths - it also mirrors the ones he devised ahead of United's League One title winning campaign in 2016 and last season's promotion from the Championship.
Phil Jagielka, aged 36, has rejoined the club where he started his career following 12 years with Everton. But for the most part, Wilder has preferred to bring in players with Premier League potential; not proven track records.
Robinson, who was on target during United's 3-1 defeat by Stade de Reims on Saturday, could make his first competitive appearance for Wilder's side when they travel to AFC Bournemouth this weekend. Oli McBurnie, the most expensive player in United's history after completing a £20m move from Swansea City last week, is also expected to feature at The Vitality Stadium. He appeared as a second-half substitute in France, less than 24 hours after leaving South Wales.
"I think it makes us really exciting," Robinson said. "There's a real buzz about the group because of where we've come from and, honestly, I think that can really give us an edge. It's a great thing to be a part of and you can see what the manager has been doing."