The other deadline day scenario Sheffield United prepared for

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed he would have instructed the club’s owners to adopt a different strategy during the transfer window if his squad had been struggling towards the foot of the Premier League table.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:59 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 5:34 pm

United paid £22m to sign Norway midfielder Sander Berge before travelling to London for tomorrow’s game against Crystal Palace; with a win potentially lifting them into fifth.

HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, United’s new owner, met with Wilder to discuss their recruitment policy earlier this term and, reflecting upon those discussions in Dubai, the 52-year-old acknowledged he presented two different scenarios to the Saudi Arabian.

“I still think we’d have invested,” Wilder said. “It’s important we move forward regardless of the position we’re in.

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“If we were cut adrift, then I’d have advised them (the board) to take certain action. I’m an advisor to them and the best thing we needed to do was invest when we’re strong, which is one of the things I believe has been done.”

United prepared for their trip to London in eighth, despite only being promoted from the Championship last term.

Berge first appeared on Wilder’s radar over the summer but, with Genk about to take part in the Champions League, United were forced to bide their time before unveiling the youngster on Thursday evening.

One of the most coveted young talents in Europe, Berge had also been the subject of several bids from Napoli.

Sander Berge signs for Sheffield United at the Steelphalt Academy, Sheffield: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We came into the division and people had a perception about us,” Wilder said. “I think we’ve been able to change that in terms of how we play and other stuff.

“People wrote us off and insisted we’d be down by Christmas, which I accept is what they thought. People have opinions and it was up to us to try and change them.

“But the progression of the club has changed that. The media coverage we all get (in the Premier League) is huge and it makes it easier to attract better players, which is what we’re trying to do.

“It’s always important, whatever the situation, to try and get better.”

Chris Wilder has enjoyed a busy transfer window: Simon Bellis/Sportimage