Sheffield United to swoop for promising League One duo

It is being reported by a journalist from The Guardian that Sheffield United are keen on a double package deal to sign Peterborough United stars Harrison Burrows and Ricky-Jade Jones. The source states a deal could be tied up soon.

The Blades have been linked with Burrows for several weeks now after it was claimed by the Peterborough Telegraph the 22-year-old was scheduled for a medical. Burrows only has 12 months remaining on his current Posh contract.

It was also claimed by the source that the two clubs have agreed on a fee in excess of £2 million in add-ons and bonuses. A “lucrative” contract is said to be agreed as well. But with this update from The Guardian correspondent the Blades are willing to splash the cash on another Peterborough standout.

Harrison Burrows has been a standout player at left-wingback for Peterborough United since breaking into the first team and he has been linked with a move to Sheffield United this summer.

Sheffield United to sign talented Peterborough United duo?

Ricky-Jade Jones, 21, had a very good campaign last term scoring ten goals as a left winger (and striker) and providing four assists.

Jones is a Peterborough United fan and came through the Posh academy, and his former academy manager, Kieran Scarff had plenty of positive things to say about the forward.

“He’s the quickest player I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some quick players. With the work that continues to go into him he’s only going to get better and his potential is enormous,” via BBC Sport.

There has been talks of Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal that have been linked with interest, which shows how high his ceiling is. But, realistically, a move to a top Championship club should be the next move so he can showcase his talent at a higher level.

At just 21 years of age, Jones has already racked up 146 appearances for Peterborough’s first team, adding 24 goals and eight assists to his name.

What could Ricky-Jade Jones bring to Sheffield United?

For starters, if Sheffield United can get both Burrows and Jones then they will already have two players that know each other’s game inside out having played together for several seasons now.

In terms of playing style, Jones is definitely not a creating force but he does make up for that with his direct approach. He wants to run off the last shoulder of the defence, and when the ball is on the opposite flank he is active in getting into the box.

As per Wyscout, Jones ranks in the 90th percentile for goals per 90, 96th percentile for expected goals per 90, and 85th percentile for shots per 90. Getting into shooting positions is a strength, and that’s probably why he has been deployed as a striker at times throughout his young career.

Touching on his creativity levels, he is above average compared to his League One peers. His expected assists per 90 see him ranked in the 60th percentile, while his key passes per 90 sees him ranked 61st. He doesn’t cross much for a winger, ranking in the 42nd percentile, but when he does cross they are usually accurate which is why he ranks in the 82nd percentile for accuracy. And that’s a similar case for passes into the penalty area; he ranks in the bottom 20% in the league for attempts, but he ranks in the top 20% for accurate passes into the penalty area.

He is not a forward that will blow you away with his dribbling skills, he is statistically bang average in terms of dribbles attempted per 90 and dribble success rate.

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 07: Ricky-Jade Jones of Peterborough United during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Peterborough United and Leeds United at Weston Homes Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Peterborough, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Could the Blades still sign Liam Millar if they sign Ricky-Jade Jones?

I personally don’t see the Blades seeing Jones as a striker at this stage, although I am not aware of United’s transfer strategy, but the common sense approach to me is that he plays on the left side. Sign Liam Millar as the starting left winger, and sign Ricky-Jade Jones as the sub option. As I’ll touch on later, the Peterborough United man should be seen more like a “project” signing rather than a main Championship starter.

My view

At 6ft Jones is quite tall for a natural wide man but he is poor in the air. Personally I like a winger to be tall so they can make darting runs to the near post or can get on the end of deep crosses, so if he can work on that, with his pace he could be a real menace.

Overall, he definitely has a lot to work on in his game but let’s not forget he is still 21 so there is plenty of time for that. Jones definitely has a lot of potential, and one I think is worth signing as an impact sub in the Championship.

One thing I do find interesting about this whole package deal is that Sheffield United, if the deal gets completed, will be signing two players that have come from a team that’s used to dictating possession.

Last term, Peterborough United ranked first in League One in number of passes per possession, with a slow speed of attack. In fact, in terms of speed of attack they ranked in the bottom four, so they will both be used to a more methodical style of approach play.

The interesting thing about this is that it is the polar opposite of what Sheffield United did last season, this hints that there will be a clear change to the Blades’ playing style in the upcoming campaign. The Blades ranked dead last in passes per possession, while ranking 11th in speed of attack. They also ranked 19th in number of build-up attacks, as opposed to the Posh’s 1st.

The two sides also had a contrasting defensive set-up. United had a very low block, while Peterborough were in more of a mid block. Of course, for the Blades, this will likely naturally change anyway due to the difference in quality in opposition in the Championship.

Tags Harrison Burrows Ricky-Jade Jones Transfers