Sheffield United: Manager explains why transfer speculation should be welcomed, not feared

Clayton Donaldson of Sheffield Utd runs at Ahmed Elmohamady of Aston Villa during the Championship match at Bramall Lane Stadium, Sheffield. Picture date 30th January, 2018. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Clayton Donaldson of Sheffield Utd runs at Ahmed Elmohamady of Aston Villa during the Championship match at Bramall Lane Stadium, Sheffield. Picture date 30th January, 2018. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has insisted speculation linking some of his best players with moves elsewhere should not be feared, insisting it proves the quality within his squad.

AFC Bournemouth are among a host of top-flight clubs monitoring youngster David Brooks, who recently signed an improved contract at Bramall Lane.

Jack O'Connell impressed last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jack O'Connell impressed last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

With United maintaining a top six challenge until the penultimate match of last season, the likes of Jack O’Connell could also attract interest after proving himself at Championship level.

But Wilder said: “I want people to be interested in people like Jack. I want them to be interested because I want us to have good players.

“If nobody was interested in the players we’ve got, that would worry me. That would be a concern because it would mean nobody wanted them.

“But there will always be talk surrounding good players. That goes with the territory.”

“It’s not something that bothers me, being honest,” he added. “And that’s the truth because, like I say, if you aren’t any good then nobody is interested. It doesn’t alter anything I think or what I do.”

With EFL clubs now able to process domestic transfers, Wilder is hoping to begin strengthening his squad ahead of the 2018/19 campaign after leading United to 10th in the table last term.

Although they remained in top six contention until the penultimate match of the season, he has predicted the competition is set to become even stronger with the likes of Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City all set to take part.

“You can’t stand still,” Wilder said. “If you do, then you’ll probably get overtaken.”