Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, admits his hardest task this summer may be moving players on as he looks to shape his squad for another top-six tilt.
Wilder, whose side finished 10th in the Championship last season but were in contention for the play-offs until the penultimate game, has targeted three or four more “quality” additions this summer after bringing in goalkeeper Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United.
The Blades boss also yesterday sanctioned the departure of striker James Hanson, whose contract was cancelled by mutual consent.
Hanson later joined AFC Wimbledon and followed Louis Reed and Samir Carruthers out of the exit door at Bramall Lane. Wilder also made George Long, Ben Heneghan, Nathan Thomas and Caolan Lavery available after releasing Clayton Donaldson and Chris Hussey at the end of the season.
And the manager, speaking ahead of United’s return to pre-season training on Monday, admitted: “The hardest thing, from our point of view, is to move players on. Especially with the players we’ve got.
“Do they go into other Championship clubs? They might do, and no-one is saying they won’t. But the most likely destination is League One, and that league is maybe financially not as strong as it has been in the past.”
Dons boss Neal Ardley hailed the arrival of Hanson, saying: “We have long been admirers of James, but he has always been that sort of player who was out of our range.
“I’ve spoken to Chris Wilder and he said that James massively helped them to promotion in 2016/17.
“Anytime a ball has been put into the box when he’s played against us for Bradford or Sheffield United, I’ve always closed my eyes and hoped for the best!”