Chris Wilder has torn-up Sheffield United’s existing transfer policy as he begins the process of overhauling Bramall Lane’s first team squad.
In a markedly different approach to many of his predecessors, Wilder revealed the club’s latest recruitment drive will focus on bringing the “best players from League One and League Two” to South Yorkshire this summer rather than being seduced by supposedly glamorous names.
Wilder, who took charge of United when Nigel Adkins was sacked last month, released 10 players and transfer listed another seven after being unveiled as the 51-year-old’s successor.
He told The Star: “We’re going to be looking at trying to bring the best lads from this division and the one below here. We will be looking above as well of course but we only want hungry players from the Championship. People who want to represent Sheffield United. People with the right attitudes, the right character and the necessary hunger and desire.”
Dean Hammond and Martyn Woolford, signed by Adkins from Leicester City and Millwall respectively, are among those Wilder has declared surplus to requirements.
Talks with several potential targets are already thought to have taken place but Wilder, who led Northampton Town to promotion from the fourth tier last term added: “Value for money is important. We don’t want people coming here for the money, we want them to be here for the right reasons. That’s absolutely key.”
Wilder and his assistant Alan Knill hope to have the majority of their new look team in place by the time United report back for pre-season training later this month.
“We’ll be working all summer to get this right and it goes without saying that we’ll need a little bit of time,” Wilder said. “I want people here who fit that framework and who, if possible, know what is required to perform at this level. Who maybe have promotions on the CV’s in the past, who have shown they’ve got the knowledge and character to do well.”
“We’ll consider bringing some good young lads in on loan, possibly from the Premier League, to augment what we’ve got.” Wilder added. “There are players already here who we’ll be looking to build the team around and, of course, we’ll be using the academy too because we want to bring lads through. That’s also important.
“The biggest thing people here must show is that drive and commitment to represent Sheffield United Football Club. I think having the knowledge of this league is important because it’s a demanding competition.”