Sheffield United Transfers: Chris Wilder discusses whether Richairo Živković's loan move may be made permanent

Striker has signed six-month loan deal

Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:41 pm

Chris Wilder has hinted Sheffield United could make Richairo Živković’s loan move permanent in the summer after unveiling him as a Blades player.

The Dutch striker has penned a six-month loan deal with United ahead of tonight’s 11pm deadline, and United have an option to make the move a permanent one in the summer.

Zivkovic, aged 23, has spent the past 11 months playing for Chinese second tier side Changchun Yatai after leaving Oostende in February.

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Richairo Zivkovic (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

But with the country’s governing body last night announcing the indefinite suspension of the new season because of the coronavirus outbreak, Zivkovic, a former Netherlands under-21 international, faced the prospect of being left in limbo until the shutdown ended – until United made their move.

"People will recognise we do sometimes go left field with our signings, but we've worked very hard on this one, because we have had to,” said Wilder.

"We know enough about him, we've kept tabs on Richairo for a while and tracked his progress. He is a Dutch international at ages under the senior level, he'll be unpredictable to other teams, but we know what we're getting and he wants to make the most of the opportunity.

"He will give us genuine pace at the top of the pitch. We're learning all the time this season, but pace in the Premier League is key and Richairo is someone we think can kick us on.

"Hopefully things go well enough to turn it into a permanent move in the summer - this is another signing of a young player with an eye on the future."

Zivkovic started his career with Gronigen before joining Ajax, where he made seven Eredivisie appearances, in 2014.

Also capped by his country and youth and under-20 level, Zivkovic scored 16 goals in 26 appearances for Yatai last term and has previously enjoyed spells on loan with Willem II and FC Utrecht.