Sheffield United: Blades are told time is of the essence in the transfer market
Sheffield United have been told it is vital they begin the process of strengthening their squad sooner rather than later or risk undermining Slavisa Jokanovic’s efforts to ensure the club makes the strongest possible start to the new season.
Although the Serb declared himself broadly satisfied with the players he inherited after officially taking charge last month, vacancies for at least one attacking midfielder and two centre-halves remain unfilled.
With United set to return to competitive action next month and Oliver Norwood, who worked under Jokanovic at Fulham revealed the 52-year-old is “doing things a lot differently”, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy accept the quicker fresh faces arrive the better prepared they will be for August 7th’s game against Birmingham City.
Despite pledging to adopt a more consensual approach towards recruitment than his predecessor Chris Wilder, Jokanovic has still reminded United’s administrators that time is of the essence in this summer’s transfer market.
“We want to start doing things, we want to see movement and things happening,” he said. “Everyone here thinks that and is of the same view. Sooner rather than later is best, of course, because we are at the beginning of our journey.
“This club had a lot of success under Chris and we want to try and make sure this is the start of another period of success. Like I say, though, we are still at the very early stage.”
Jokanovic is planning to re-profile rather than overhaul the playing staff following United’s relegation from the Premier League last term - four years after they were crowned League One champions following Wilder’s first season at the helm.
But as Norwood explained during United’s recent training camp in Spain, the former Yugoslavia international’s methods are markedly different to those employed by the 53-year-old. That means the sooner new faces are integrated into the group, the quicker United will become completely conversant with Jokanovic’s tactics.
Dion Sanderson, the Wolverhampton Wanderers defender, is thought to feature on the list of potential acquisitions presented to Jokanovic before his return to England. He steered both Watford and Fulham out of the second tier before taking charge of Qatari side Al-Gharafa.
“We are working and we are looking,” Jokanovic said. “But we want a refresh, not anything bigger.”