Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic's January wish list
Slavisa Jokanovic will urge Sheffield United to sign a winger in January, after identifying a lack of genuine width as one of the missing pieces in his Bramall Lane jigsaw.
The former Watford and Fulham manager requested permission to acquire one during the summer transfer window, with Ivory Coast international Amad Diallo emerging as a potential target.
Having already captured Liverpool defender Ben Davies on loan, United brokered temporary deals for Morgan Gibbs-White of Wolverhampton Wanderers, AS Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen and Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane before the August deadline.
Although another midfielder, Algeria’s Adlene Guideioura, later arrived on a free after leaving Jokanovic’s former club Al-Gharafa, United failed to deliver either Diallo or any of the other possibilities the Serb had been monitoring since his appointment two months earlier. The Star understands it is a situation Jokanovic and his assistants would like to address when the market reopens after Christmas, by which time they hope their team will be challenging for a top six finish.
Results between now and then could decide if Jokanovic’s wish is granted. Fourteenth in the table after making a predictably slow start to the Championship season following last term’s relegation from the Premier League, United will enter this weekend’s game against Stoke City six points outside of the play-off positions with 35 matches of the campaign remaining. However, Jokanovic’s employers have previous for outlawing moves if they feel the club’s fate is already sealed. Chris Wilder, the 53-year-old’s predecessor, had arranged to bring Davies to South Yorkshire towards the end of his reign but was prevented from doing so because directors felt demotion was already inevitable. With relations between the bootroom and the boardroom already fraught, that set in motion the chain of events which saw Wilder, a two time promotion winner, depart only weeks later.
Jokanovic, who delivered PL football to both Vicarage Road and Craven Cottage before heading to Qatar, is known to have become frustrated by the speed with which United moved to strengthen the options at his disposal.
But with all five new additions helping United rediscover their form, he will hope to build upon that progress when the market reopens.