Sheffield United Digest: Midfielder links up with Blades ahead of possible deal; Boss on talk of Brewster, Burke departure; Spotlight on starlet Zak Brunt
Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed that Adlene Guedioura, the former Watford and Nottingham Forest midfielder, is training with Sheffield United ahead of a possible deal with the transfer window less than a week away.
The Serb told The Star that Guedioura, who is a free agent after leaving Al-Gharafa, has been working with United’s squad ahead of Saturday’s visit to Luton Town while a decision is taken on his future in South Yorkshire.
Jokanovic revealed he invited Guedioura to watch last weekend’s Championship fixture against Huddersfield Town when a proposed move for Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira collapsed amid concerns about the player’s fitness and conditioning.
Acknowledging Vieira was his preferred option to compete for a place alongside Oliver Norwood, John Fleck and Sander Berge, Jokanovic explained he identified Guedioura as a potential alternative to the 23-year-old after being impressed by his work during their spell together in Doha. READ FULL STORY HERE
Pressure? What pressure? asks Blades chief Slav
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted he feels an obligation to not only deliver results but also entertain after acknowledging his team will never realise its potential unless players and supporters alike are inspired by what the club is trying to achieve.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game against Luton Town, where United hope to record their first win of the new Championship season, the Serb attempted to erase some of the disappointment surrounding recent results by insisting there are signs the squad he inherited last month is beginning to grasp his ideas and methods following a chaotic summer warm-up programme wrecked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asked if he felt some of those under his command had “fallen out of love with football” during last tern’s relegation from the Premier League, Jokanovic also denied United’s faltering start to the campaign had left them under pressure, saying: “They must start to enjoy it.
"If you don't enjoy your profession, if you are always under unnecessary stress, then what are you scared about? Why?” READ FULL STORY HERE
Brunt dreaming of playing in front of a full Bramall Lane
As he watched more and more of his teammates from Sheffield United’s U23 side make their debuts for the first team in the Premier League, Zak Brunt bided his time and hoped he would be next.
First came Antwoine Hackford, becoming United’s youngest-ever Premier League player at 16 years old. Then followed Iliman Ndiaye, blooded at Leicester, and Femi Seriki away at Newcastle, before Daniel Jebbison exploded onto the scene with the winner on his full debut away at Everton.
But despite becoming something of a regular in the Blades’ matchday squad as they inched towards the relegation trapdoor, the moment never came for Brunt.
“A few of the lads got their debut and I’m obviously disappointed not to have followed them,” Brunt told The Star. “But it’s one of those things." READ FULL STORY HERE
Jokanovic comments on speculation linking duo with moves away
Despite admitting it is impossible to predict what will happen during the remainder of the transfer window, Slavisa Jokanovic expressed surprise that Rhian Brewster’s future at Sheffield United has become the subject of debate as his team prepares for its return to Championship action.
The club’s record signing, Brewster has struggled for form and goals since completing a £23.5m switch from Liverpool in October - breaking his duck at the 32nd time of asking during a Carabao Cup tie against Carlisle earlier this month.
With United struggling to progress plans to strengthen the options at Jokanovic’s disposal, that has prompted speculation Brewster could be sold in order to fund the reprofiling exercise the Serb claims he was promised would take place before officially taking charge during the close season.
But, speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit to Luton Town, Jokanovic insisted he has no plans to part company with either Brewster or his team mate Oliver Burke; another player linked with a move away. READ FULL STORY HERE
Slav drops hint over Jebbison’s future
Slavisa Jokanović has hinted that Daniel Jebbison will be allowed to leave Sheffield United on loan this summer after admitting the right decision has to be made to benefit the player as well as the Blades.
Jebbison has featured twice in League Cup action for Jokanović’s side this season, but has been a loan target for a host of clubs in League One – including Sunderland, Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers.
The England youth international’s future was further complicated recently when Everton made an approach to acquire his services, but Jebbison may yet be allowed out on loan before next Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
“I am not against Jebbo going and playing senior football and I’m not also against him staying with us,” Jokanović said. READ FULL STORY HERE
Billy Sharp keen to avoid super-sub tag
Sheffield United skipper Billy Sharp is champing at the bit to start more games for the Blades this season after scoring twice in his last two games after coming off the bench.
The Blades striker, 35, made goalscoring impacts after being introduced against Huddersfield last Saturday and in the EFL Cup in midweek, scoring the winner against Derby County to book a third-round tie at home to Southampton.
Sharp is keen to avoid the ‘supersub’ tag, though, and wants to start as many games as possible – starting, he hopes, with this weekend’s trip to Luton Town.
“I feel I’m a few games away from being 100 per cent fit,” Sharp said. “The injury was quite bad and I’m still getting sharper and I’m getting there." READ FULL STORY HERE
Brown joins calls for Slav to be backed in market
Michael Brown, the former Sheffield United midfielder, has added his voice to growing calls for Slavisa Jokanović to be backed in the transfer market ahead of next week’s deadline for new signings.
After initially targeting five new faces when he took over from Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane, the manager has only seen one arrive so far in the shape of Ben Davies – while one of his key men, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, left recently in a big-money move to Arsenal.
The Blades are certainly cutting things fine if they want to tie up five deals ahead of next Tuesday and former player turned pundit Brown said on Quest: “He does need some help." READ FULL STORY HERE