Sheffield United are closing in on a loan move for Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane according to the Daily Telegraph’s Matt Law, with the Irishman set to undergo a medical in South Yorkshire today.
30-year-old Hourihane was a regular player at Villa Park when he joined the West Midlands club back in 2017 and was a big reason why they were able to get back to the Premier League during the 2018/19 campaign, making an impressive 27 appearances in his first season in the top flight.
However, he struggled for game time under Dean Smith at the start of the last campaign – and was loaned out in the second half of the 2020/21 season to Swansea City – appearing 24 times for the Welsh side and recording an impressive seven goal contributions.
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He now looks set to join Slavisa Jokanovic’s Blades who have failed to win any of their first five league games – and are currently lacking depth in midfield following John Lundstram’s departure.
A move collapsing for Sampdoria midfielder Ronaldo Vieira earlier this month also didn’t help their case, although they now look set to recruit both Hourihane and Adlene Guedioura, with Sander Berge also set to remain at Bramall Lane after testing positive for Covid-19.
Focusing more specifically on the Aston Villa midfielder though, we asked three of our writers if they thought he was a good signing for the Blades – and if he’s a much-needed addition in the middle of the park.
This is what they’ve had to say.
This could be a phenomenal signing for the Blades.
We saw what an impact Hourihane had at Swansea last season and though he fell away a little in the latter part of the season, he’s still a player that can add real quality to a Championship side. United look like a team that need to add just that after a difficult start to the season under new boss Slavisa Jokanovic.
New signings are needed before the window closes to help them kickstart their campaign and adding the Aston Villa man would be a strong move.
If Jokanovic can get him back to his best, he should be a real asset for the Blades – there’s no doubt about that!
I think this is a top signing personally.
Hourihane is a proven, classy operator at this level, and he should guarantee goals and assists from midfield.
Enda Stevens and John Egan will help him to settle straight away, and even though he is a similar profile to John Fleck and Oliver Norwood, Hourihane will add more attacking threat.
He did well at Swansea last season and also chipped in with 19 goal contributions the year Aston Villa went up, so he is a class act at this level.
United have an excellent squad on paper for this level. They now need to show it.
This is an exciting signing from a Sheffield United point of view and I can certainly see Hourihane having the desired impact when he arrives at Bramall Lane.
They have lacked creativity during their opening five league games and this could be the player who helps to open the door to more chances being created.
In addition to the creativity that he possesses from open play, the Irishman is also adept at delivering great set pieces, which will only improve the team’s goal output from those situations.
Loan moves are attached with very low risk and for that reason it seems that this ticks all the boxes for the Blades as they look to address their poor form.
This could be a masterstroke from Slavisa Jokanovic.