Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic on the January transfer window and having "soldiers" ready to go "to war"

Slavisa Jokanovic insists he is “realistic” about Sheffield United’s plans for the January transfer window, preferring to focus his time on working with the “soldiers” within Bramall Lane’s first team squad who are ready to “go to war” for the club.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:01 am

With three months to go until the market reopens, the Serb and his coaching staff are understood to have identified several potential candidates for the vacancies they believe exist within a group of players who have prepared for tomorrow’s visit to Barnsley ranked 17th in the Championship.

A winger is known to be Jokanovic’s top priority, with the 53-year-old hoping his employers can exploit the financial situation at Barcelona to resurrect their interest in Alex Collado.

“I try and be realistic and I can predict what can happen in January,” said Jokanovic, who took charge of United in July. “I repeat, why I came here is because I know there are quality players.

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“Yes, there are positions that we miss. But right now, I am not so much thinking about January. I am thinking about how we are working right now and improving people.”

After hearing their manager express his frustration with the speed of their recruitment over the summer, United eventually brokered loans for Ben Davies, Morgan Gibbs-White, Robin Olsen and Conor Hourihane before acquiring free agent Adlene Guedioura. Gibbs-White is suspended for the trip to Oakwell after being sent-off against Millwall in midweek.

“I am not scared about any situation in my private or professional life,” Jokanovic added. “I trust in my work and never give up. Even if we find ourselves in some trouble, I always keep fighting. I have a lot of energy for the battles ahead of us. Of course, if I go into war then I also need soldiers who are ready to fight for the crest.”

United will hand a late fitness test to Jayden Bogle before finalising their selections for Barnsley, with the defender missing training since since the loss to Gary Rowett’s side. Midfielder Sander Berge is unavailable, after Jokanovic confirmed it could be another “10 days” before his injury heals but George Baldock is available.

Alex Collado of FC Barcelona: Eric Alonso/Getty Images
Slavisa Jokanovic, the manager of Sheffield United: Isaac Parkin / Sportimage