You're The Manager: Jimmy Muir
Updated Monday, 25th June 2012
As each season ends and another one soon comes along we look at which signings Danny Wilson could bring in to forge a promotion winning Sheffield United.
The Blades were disappointed to not gain victory in the Play-Off Final at Wembley against Huddersfield Town last May - losing the match on penalties and thus not winning promotion to the Championship at the first attempt. This list of 'new signings' has been based on the players which will be retained and based on those offered new contracts being signing - new players brought in is based on realistic targets which could potentially be brought in. Eleven players were released upon the end of there contracts this summer; Steve Simonsen, Andy Taylor, Johannes Ertl, Ched Evans, James Beattie, Connor Brown, Jack Adams, Seamus Conneely, Corey Gregory, Marc Warren and Shane Murray all left the club.
I wrote a similar article two years ago which can be viewed by clicking here.
With number one Steve Simonsen leaving the club this summer the Blades are left with just two choice keeper; Mark Howard who arrived on a free transfer from Blackpool last January and academy stopper George Long. Howard has yet to start, whilst Long played two league games against MK Dons (2-1) and Exeter City (4-4) and despite the latter making more appearances he wouldn't be equipped to manage a multiple of first team matches and a new first choice keeper is required.
United have been linked with Dusan Penris (Dundee United) and Tommy Lee (Chesterfield) with the latter likely to make the move to Bramall Lane; I admired Adam Colin (Carlisle United) in his games last season and in the past have seen the talents of Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere Rovers) as a suitable shot stopper, but in my efforts to pick a side which can challenge at the top I would be pushing my guns out for Lee who performed brilliantly in a side which struggled to keep hold of there League One status.
Present Squad: Neill Collins, Matt Lowton, Harry Maguire, Lecsinel Jean-Francois, Marcus Williams, Terry Kennedy. New Signings: Garry Kenneth, Ryan Cresswell, Matt Hill, Paul Connolly
Sheffield United conceded 65 goals in all competitions last season (58 games) with young Harry Maguire and former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United centre-half Neill Collins at the heart of the defence; at right-full back Matt Lowton was virtually ever-present but it was at left full-back where problems occurred due to injuries and suspensions sustained to Lescinel Jean-Francois who may not start the new season to injury as well as Marcus Williams.
Andy Taylor (released) and Matt Hill (on loan from Blackpool) played some part last season and having been released by the Seasiders I believe that Hill would make a suitable inclusion to the team. Meanwhile Ben Parker (Leeds United) has also been linked with United. A substitute right full-back is also in need and with Paul Connolly transfer listed by Leeds United a move for the former Blade could be sort after.
Whilst Maguire and Collins were solid in the centre it looks as though we will never see Chris Morgan in a United shirt again and is expected to continue his role as Reserve Team Manager which he had instant success, winning the league in his first season and with a shortage of centre-halves new recruits are needed. To date United have been linked with Garry Kennith (Dundee United) and he has reportedly issued a 'come and get plea' to Danny Wilson. However I would also look elsewhere and would be keen to sign former Barnsley defender Anthony Kay, 29 (Huddersfield Town) if the price is right as well as Ryan Cresswell who is transfer listed by Rotherham United.
Alex Bruce, son of former Sheffield United Player-Manager Steve has been released by Leeds United and could do a good job for the Blades at centre-half.
Present Squad: Lee Williamson, Kevin McDonald, Michael Doyle, Nick Montgomery, Stephen Quinn, Ryan Flynn, David McAlister, Matt Harriott. New Signings: John Fleck, Kyle Hutton, David Cotterill.
Providing that Lee Williamson, Stephen Quinn and Kevin McDonald all sign new contracts then next seasons midfield will be fairly strong and will require little tweaking but will be in need some improvement in requiring a right and left-midfielder as well as possibly a central midfielder. Danny Wilson is keen on exploiting Glasgow Rangers if there bid to remain in the Premier League fails and could chase the signatures of John Fleck (left-midfielder) and Kyle Hutton (centre-midfield) who he has long admired but struggled to bring to S2.
On the right the Blades have been linked with David Wotherspoon (Hibernian) whilst former Sheffeild United and Swansea City winger David Cotterill has been released from his short term contract with South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and would make a decent back-up player behind Lee Williamson.
David McAllister enjoyed a loan spell at Shrewsbury Town towards the end of last season and could become an inspired player next season with the Blades. Elsewhere Anthony Sweeney (Hartlepool United) netted nine times last season and in a better quality side may find more.
Present Squad: Richard Cresswell, Chris Porter, Erik Tonne, Danny Philliskirk, Jordan Chappell. New Signings: Dave Kitson
The forward line scored 56 of the 109 goals scored in all competitions last season and it is imperative that a player who can score 20+ goals in the league is sort after. Ched Evans netted 29 League One goals until he was imprisoned for five years after being found guilty of rape - though he was out of contract this summer he would have been worthy of a new deal but without the Welsh international striker a new hit man must now be found.
Chris Porter became a hero when he netted the vital goal to send United to Wembley and Richard Cresswell scored a fair number of goals but neither are likely to find the magic 20+ which could propel the Blades into the Championship. United have been linked with several strikers which include; Kal Naismith (Rangers), Dave Kitson (Portsmouth) and Joe Garner (Watford) but of the three I think that the ginger haired striker Kitson would notch up a respectable number of goals next season in League One.
Awaiting in the wings will be Erik Tonne who spent time at York City last season but failed to play in either of there back-to-back Wembley appearances in the FA Trophy and Play-Off Final which brought them double silverware last season.
01. Tommy Lee
02. Matt Lowton
03. Lescinel Jean-Francois
04. Paul Connolly
05. Garry Kenneth
06. Ryan Cresswell
07. Nick Montgomery
08. Michael Doyle (captain)
09. Dave Kitson
10. John Fleck
11. Ryan Flynn
12. Kevin McDonald
13. Mark Howard
14. Lee Williamson
15. Neill Collins
16. Matt Hill
17. Richard Cresswell
18. Kyle Hutton
19. Harry Maguire
20. David McAllister
21. Chris Porter
22. Danny Philliskirk
23. Erik Tonne
24. Terry Kennedy
25. George Long
26. David Cotterill
27. Matt Harriott
28. Stephen Quinn
29. Jordan Chapell
30. Marcus Williams