Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sheffield United preview – Survival = miracle?

Sheffield United come into the Premier League for the first time in over a decade with both a squad and a manager who are inexperienced at this level. Next up on our Premier League preview list is Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United team.

State of Play

Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United have their work cut out this season if they plan on staying in the Premier League. However, they’ve spent over £40million on some very decent players to try and stave off the drop.

Oli McBurnie (£17million) from Swansea, Lys Mousset (£10million) from Bournemouth, Callum Robinson (£7million), Luke Freeman (£5million) from QPR, Ben Osborn (£3.5million) from Nottingham Forest, Phil Jagielka (FREE) from Everton, Ravel Morrison (FREE) from Ostersunds, Michael Verrips (FREE) from Mechelen, Muhamed Besic (LOAN) from Everton and Dean Henderson (LOAN) from Manchester United have all joined up.

Oli Mcburnie holds aloft his new Sheffield United shirt as he completes his transfer.

A good mix of youth, experience, homegrown and foreign players have come in. The pressure will be on the new forwards – scoring goals tends to be a real sticky point for new boys in the Premier League – but can they compete?

Pre-season has seen Wilder’s side win four from six, losing the other two. They scored an impressive 14 goals in their pre-season games and even if it was mostly against lesser opposition, it’s always good to get the feel for putting balls in nets early on.

Signing of the Summer

For me, this will have to be the new boy Oli McBurnie. The former Swansea striker impressed me a lot last season with his athletic ability and his goalscoring prowess. He scored 24 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions last season – if he can get even half of that this season he’ll be a hit.

I do think he will do well for Sheff Utd this term. Personally, I can see him getting somewhere between 8-12 goals this season, a return which could be invaluable to a side like Sheffield United as they fight to survive.

Kieran’s verdict

As much as I like Sheffield Utd, Chris Wilder and the majority of the players, I just can’t see them staying in the league this season. It’s something of an impossible task as in my opinion – their squad is well below the level of the rest of the Premier League squads.

They may have beaten the likes of Aston Villa for points in the Championship, but they’ve been drastically outspent and are now playing in a very different league. Raw power and physicality may be enough to do well in the second tier – but it’s a sure fire recipe for relegation in the Premier League.

Like I say, I do hope they prove me wrong but it seems like it’ll be one-and-done for Sheffield United in the Premier League this time around.

*Transfer info taken from https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/sheffield-united/transfers/verein/350

< Norwich

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