Former Blade claims it’s time for “fresh blood” at Sheffield United

Former Sheffield United centre-back and current Barnsley manager Neil Collins has weighed in on the Blades’ struggles this season, and what the future holds for the squad.

This upcoming summer stands out as one of Sheffield United’s most pivotal transfer windows in recent memory. While such sentiments are often echoed yearly, the current state of the club underscores the gravity of this statement.

The summer transfer window typically determines the course of a forthcoming campaign, but for Sheffield United, it holds even greater significance. A misstep in recruitment could potentially unravel the progress and accomplishments the team has diligently built since Chris Wilder took charge, of his first tenure, back in 2016.

According to information sourced from Transfermarkt, the Blades face the challenge of having as many as 13 players with expiring contracts this summer, with a significant portion of them situated in the defensive line.

Some of those that are set to be free agents in the summer are experienced figures such as: George Baldock (31), John Egan (31), Chris Basham (35) and Oli Norwood (32).

These four players have played a huge part in the club’s success over the last few seasons. Baldock, Basham, Egan and Norwood have helped the Blades to two automatic promotions to the Premier League. Basham was also part of the 2016/17 League One winning campaign in Wilder’s first term.

Despite this success story, former United defender Collins believes it is now time to part ways with these modern day Sheffield United legends.

Neil Collins on the summer rebuild for Sheffield United

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, the current Barnsley boss stated:

“There’s two ways to get promoted out of the Championship. You have to have a hunger, maybe a team that’s not experienced it before, which could mean wholesale changes. The other way, as the likes of Leicester have done, is to keep hold of a lot of your quality and ultimately you’re just too strong for that division. I suspect Sheffield United might need to be the first [option].

“Watching them from the side they look like they need to rejuvenate that squad and go again because I think they’ve probably suffered from the fact their players have climbed the mountain, gone down and climbed it again and now it’s just a little too much for them and they need fresh blood.”

The Blades to put trust in the youth players

Sheffield United have basically hinted at who will be in and around the starting lineup for the Championship campaign next season. Since Wilder came back to the club in December, he has put his trust in the likes of Andre Brooks, Will Osula and now Oli Arblaster.

While the trio are inexperienced, they offer so much energy and that much-needed fresh blood that Neil Collins mentioned above.

As I stated in my recent contract piece, I can see a situation where United offer short-term contracts to Baldock and Egan, to have two experienced heads in defence to build around. In midfield, the likes of Arblaster and Brooks will feature in the Championship, but I can see Wilder wanting his main midfield to consist of Gustavo Hamer and Tom Davies.

Tags Andre Brooks Former player Oli Arblaster Will Osula