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44-year-old’s name emerges as candidate to succeed Slavisa Jokanovic at Sheffield United

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Sheffield United could turn back to Paul Heckingbottom as Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to leave Bramall Lane after a short stint in-charge. 

Reports from John Percy this morning have confirmed that Jokanovic is set to depart Bramall Lane with Sheffield United sitting 16th in the Championship table. They’ve lost eight of the opening 19 fixtures this season, underwhelming after two years in the Premier League.

Earlier in the week, The Athletic reported how a change had been mooted in South Yorkshire, with Heckingbottom said to be ‘in line’ to replace Jokanovic if he departed.

The 44-year-old currently serves as the U23 coach and was tasked with replacing Chris Wilder in the interim last season in the Premier League. Despite an inevitable relegation back into the Championship, Heckingbottom carried himself well under difficult circumstances.

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Heckingbottom has managed elsewhere in the EFL before.

He helped Barnsley win promotion to the Championship in 2015/16, as well as winning the Football League Trophy, before establishing the Tykes in the second-tier.

In the middle of 2017/18, he left Oakwell and took on the Leeds United job, but lasted only 16 Championship fixtures at Elland Road, winning four times. The Whites parted company with Heckingbottom in the summer of 2018, bringing in Marcelo Bielsa.

The Verdict 

This is the appointment that appears to make the most sense for Sheffield United right now.

Heckingbottom plays a system (with wing-backs) that suits the players Sheffield United have available to them. He did reasonably well in the Premier League last season and will be asked to steady the ship once more.

Whether this is a long-term solution, though, remains to be seen.

Thoughts? Let us know! 


Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 44-year-old’s name emerges as candidate to succeed Slavisa Jokanovic at Sheffield United

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