Sheffield United: Manager makes a plea about transfers as the deadline approaches

Slavisa Jokanovic has urged Sheffield United’s board to deliver the four new signings he believes are required to revitalise the club’s fortunes before tomorrow’s transfer deadline, after again referring to ‘promises’ made about recruitment earlier this summer.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 5:00 am

With just over 24 hours of the transfer window remaining, Ben Davies is still the only new playter to arrive at Bramall Lane since the Serb took charge last month although free agent Adlene Guedioura should join him shortly.

Speaking after Saturday’s goalless draw at Luton Town, which saw United enter the international break searching for their first win of the Championship season, Jokanovic admitted his squad needs to “clean its mind” after being relegated from the Premier League last term and start “enjoying” its football once again.

It is a process Jokanovic, who recently saw goalkeeper Aaron Ransdale complete a £26m move to Arsenal, will be accelerated by the arrival of fresh faces . However, United’s progress in the market has been painfully slow, with a deal for Ronaldo Vieira collapsing amid concerns about the Sampdoria midfielder’s fitness and conditioning.

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Luton, England, 28th August 2021. Slavisa Jokanovic manager of Sheffield Utd during the Sky Bet Championship match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“We must sign people,” Jokanovic said. “We must stick with the strategy, the plan and what was promised to be before I arrive at this club.

“If we were so good, there would not be a problem. We talked about four players and then that became five with one person leaving.

“This was not my plan. This was the board’s plan and I accepted it.”

Asked if mentality was an issue behind the scenes, with some of those at his disposal still bearing the mental scars of their demotion from the top-flight, Jokanovic added: “Listen, I am not a doctor. I am a football coach. You must be happy because you are a football player, just like I am happy that I am a coach. Our job is fighting and running but also entertaining the people around us and ourselves.”

Luton, England, 28th August 2021. George Baldock of Sheffield Utd and John Egan of Sheffield Utd warm up during the Sky Bet Championship match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Having seen his preparations for the campaign wrecked by the Covid-19 pandemic, Jokanovic will spent this week attempting to instill is ideas and methodology on the training pitches United’s Steelphalt Academy before attention turns to next month’s game against Peterborough. Guedioura, an Alegria international, will continue to take part in those sessions after being invited to South Yorkshire by Jokanovic. The two men previously worked together at Al-Gharafa in Qatar.

“Listen, it’s not a question about work,” Jokanovic said, “I can not charge my players for not working.

“But we need to perform and this is more complicated.

“I have the first responsibility when things aren’t going well. I must decide what they can and can’t do. But some basic things we must do anyway. Because this (the Luton game) is not enjoyment.

“I didn’t enjoy watching my team and I don’t think my players enjoyed playing this kind of game. I don’t think our supporters will have been happy or enjoyed it either.”

Meanwhile, Jokanovic has confirmed he expects George Baldock to resume work “in the next few days” after he suffered a “small, not so serious” injury at Kenilworth Road.