No signings, Covid-19 complications and Rhian Brewster - SIX talking points from Sheffield United's pre-Fulham press conference

Chris Wilder and George Baldock faced the media this morning ahead of Sheffield United's Premier League clash with Fulham at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 11:58 am

Fans expecting an insight into United's plans for deadline day would have been left a little deflated - Wilder said there won't be any.

As far as he's concerned - or letting on - United are done for the day, and the window.

Here are the main talking points from the press conference.

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Done for the day

"No, the players who are in the building are the ones we're going to go with," said Wilder, when asked if he was any closer to a breakthrough in the transfer market.

"They're the ones that will take us through to January."

Previously linked with the likes of Terence Kongolo and Ben Davies to replace the injured Jack O'Connell, United will go with Jack Robinson for the immediate future it seems - with Enda Stevens able to shift over from wing-back, if Robinson is unavailable for whatever reason.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder. (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Can Egan play?

As is to be expected really considering the UK's handling of the Covid-19 crisis, there's some uncertainty over whether John Egan is free to face Fulham this weekend.

The devil will be in the detail. If Egan is reclassified as a casual contact of the player, he could be fine to play.

It's understood that Egan's most recent Covid test came back negative, but the virus can take up to 14 days to manifest itself.

"We've got a couple of injury issues and a potential issue with one of our players," Wilder said.

"I can't confirm or deny if he'll be available for the weekend. We're still working away with the authorities."

Is international football at the minute worth it?

It's a fair question, considering United have question marks over the availability of Egan, David McGoldrick, Oli Burke and John Fleck after the walking wounded returned from international duty.

But Wilder, it seems, remains keen that his players experience playing for their countries, suggesting that it makes them better footballers - experiencing different systems and playing with, and against, international-class players.

"The injuries point of view is the obvious down-side," he added. "The majority [of players] were back on Thursday so it's not a great deal of time for us to prepare for a big game for us as a football club."

Baldock fancies a Brew'

Wing-back Baldock was asked about the impact new record signing Rhian Brewster has had on the group, after the striker withdrew from England U21 duty in an attempt to get up to speed with the Blades.

Baldock enthused about Brewster as a person and as a player, marvelling at his finishing ability with both feet and admitting he can't wait to play alongside him.

"He's got good feet, he's very mature for his age in his knowledge of the game and I think he'll fit in well with this club," Baldock added.

Will Rhian be unleashed against Fulham?

I would expect the new boy to feature at some point, but by the sounds of things he is still getting up to speed with United's style of play because of his lack of game-time at Liverpool.

But United's profligacy in front of goal this season has been apparent for all to see, and Brewster's finishing qualities - and the lift he has given the whole group in training - might prove impossible to resist against Scott Parker's Fulham side.


Young England stopper Aaron Ramsdale will have enjoyed another confidence boost with a man-of-the-match display for England U21s in the week, including a penalty save.

And the goalkeeper still, rightly, has Wilder's backing, despite United's below-par start to the Premier League season.

In fact, despite failing to pick up a point so far, only six clubs have actually conceded fewer goals than United this season and Wilder said of Ramsdale: "His performances so far have been good, he's not made any mistakes individually and goals going in is down to more than just Aaron.

"I feel a bit sorry for him, he can't do anything about the goals that have gone in and he's made some key saves, too.

"He'll be taking it personally because that's how he is as a player but nothing has changed in my opinion of him, as a boy and as a player."