Sheffield United linked with midfielder with over 340 Championship appearances to his name

Sheffield United have recently been credited with interest in Preston North End central midfielder Alan Browne.

In a report by Alan Nixon, The Sun journalist claimed that Preston have offered the 29-year-old a club record contract in which United and Coventry City are struggling to match. However, I understand that the Irish international will leave Deepdale this summer.

The Blades will be in the market for midfielders this summer as Vinicius Souza and Ismaila Coulibaly will likely leave the club, in addition to Sheffield United legend Oliver Norwood departing at the end of his deal in a few weeks time.

But, is Alan Browne a player that the club should go for?

Should Sheffield United sign Alan Browne?

Browne has played over 340 times in the Championship with the Lancashire outfit scoring 39 times and providing 22 assists. He also has 35 caps for Ireland, and his Ireland connections could pay dividends in United’s pursuit of the midfielder.

Keith Andrews, who is on the Blades’ management staff, was part of the Republic of Ireland setup before being brought to Bramall Lane by Chris Wilder back in December. In addition, the current Ireland captain John Egan would be a familiar face for Browne, although, Egan’s future is unknown given his current contract expires in just a few of weeks time.

The 29-year-old has plenty of experience at this level, plus the Irishman has featured at least 35 times in eight of his nine Championship campaigns – proving he is a dependable member of the squad over a long period of time. Browne has also proven he can play several roles across the middle of the park over the years

And while he might not be the most eye-catching of midfielders, having an experienced, durable and versatile midfielder to combine with Oli Arblaster and Gustavo Hamer could be the perfect midfield next season.

Experienced Championship players is the way to go in midfield

As mentioned in a previous piece: I believe Sheffield United should, and will, look at bringing in some Championship veterans in a way to steady the ship. With the amount of players needed as part of the summer rebuild quite a few of the players coming in will need to have experience, and preferably Championship experience, so the team can hit the ground running.

One or two midfielders such as Browne, Lewis O’Brien and Alex Mowatt should be priority – then perhaps a cheap ‘project’ signing like Marc Leonard will be the way to go.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Tom Davies and Rhian Brewster of Sheffield United applaud the fans at full-time following the Premier League match between West Ham United and Sheffield United at London Stadium on September 30, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Will Tom Davies play a big part for the Blades next season?

Of course, when we talk about needing experience we must not forget that Tom Davies has racked up 164 Premier League appearances to his name at the age of just 25. And although he did show some decent touches and neat passes this term, he simply has not been fit enough and therefore only played a part in nine league games. Across the last three years, Davies has missed 48 games due to injury.

There is no doubt in the former Evertonian’s footballing ability, especially at Championship level. But, his fitness record over the last few years are concerning – they’re basically polar opposite to someone like Alan Browne.

Tags Alan Browne Alex Mowatt Ismaila Coulibaly Lewis O'Brien Oli Norwood Tom Davies Vinícius Souza