Sheffield United chase even more firepower after agreeing a deal for Oliver Burke
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants to complete his recruitment jigsaw by signing another centre-forward after a deal for West Bromwich Albion attacker Oliver Burke was confirmed this afternoon.
The 23-year-old, previously of RB Leipzig and Celtic, has been officially announced as a Blades player after returning from international duty with Scotland. Callum Robinson will travel in the opposite direction having spent the second half of last season on loan at The Hawthorns - helping Slaven Bilic’s side win promotion from the Championship.
With Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu, Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe arriving at Bramall Lane yesterday, Burke’s presence means Wilder is now free to focus on filling the vacancy for a ‘genuine number nine’ he believes exists within his squad after reviewing United’s performances last term.
Although Wilder insists his belief they would benefit from more firepower should not be interpreted as a criticism of Oli McBurnie, Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick, it does reflect United’s concerns about the conditioning of Lys Mousset - who appeared short of fitness during their final two warm-up games ahead of Monday’s Premier League opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Speaking after last week’s visit to Derby County, which was followed by a meeting with Preston North End, Wilder appeared prepared to continue working with the Frenchman - insisting he had shown “flashes” of the ability which saw him score five times in 10 outings midway through the 20/19/20 campaign.
But after acknowledging United must score more goals, despite finishing ninth earlier this year, Wilder is unlikely to rely on Mousset until his self-discipline improves.
Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster is a confirmed target, with United growing increasingly confident they can secure his services on loan after Aston Villa and Newcastle, who had also been monitoring him, acquiring Ollie Watkins and Callum Wilson respectively.
Club Brugge’s Emmanuel Dennis and Leon Dajaku of Bayern Munich have also been linked with United in recent weeks.
Robinson, two years Burke’s senior, underwent a medical at West Brom this morning. A Republic of Ireland international, he scored twice in 20 outings for United after joining them from Preston last summer.