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George Baldock’s recent move from MK Dons to Sheffield United has triggered the Blades’ summer rebuild. Coping with the Championship shouldn’t be a problem. However, ‘coping’ is not just enough.
The league is wide open now and the play-off places are there for the taking. Sheffield United are a good outside bet to finish in the top 6 and here is how their line-up could look with Baldock in the team, though more signings are expected soon.
The 27-year-old is barely reaching his peak as a ‘keeper and has plenty more to give yet. Will remain as the No.1.
The new signing is comfortable either at right-back or on the right-hand side of midfield. So a wing-back position should be ideal for him.
The 28-year-old is at the top of his game and played 43 of United’s 46 league games last term. He should cope with this division. No problem.
Adding crucial experience to the team, Wright can be pivotal next season as United look to consolidate their position at the very least.
At only 23, O’Connell is one of the improvers in the line-up and should be in the Blades team for years to come.
Another regular in last season’s League One winning line-up, Lafferty is getting better at left wing-back and should carry on in the first XI.
Coutts adds some solidity to the midfield three and is just about reaching his peak. Will be a part of the team.
The central midfielder is 31 now and won’t be around forever. But his 6 league goals last year were crucial and another few from this position in the Championship would be invaluable.
The former Rangers man has real quality and him reaching this level has been a long time coming. He will not be overlooked.
Sharp is a legend in the lower divisions of English football and yet, so rarely do such players get the chance to play higher up the pyramid. Sharp, for my money at least, won’t struggle to get 15 goals or more as long as he stays fit and that sort of firepower is what it takes to hit the top six.
The 24-year-old should start the season up front. 4 goals in 27 league games last time out is a record he needs to improve on. It is very much possible as his development is far from over.