This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield United are still searching for the right additions to make to their squad this summer as Slavisa Jokanovic aims to get the Blades ready for the start of the new campaign.
The Blades are in the market to add to their midfield options this summer and it has now been reported that they are interested in making a potential move for Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane. It is believed that they are set to rival West Brom in the race for his signature.
That comes with the midfielder likely to be leaving Villa Park this summer with him only having one year left to run on his current deal.
It is thought that most Championship clubs would want to sign him, but that only a select few can afford to do so.
So with Sheffield United eyeing up a move for Hourihane, we asked our FLW writers whether they feel he would be the right signing for the Blades to make…
This would be an excellent bit of business for the Blades.
Jokanovic’s squad looks one midfielder short, particularly if Sander Berge leaves, and bringing in Hourihane would be as good an option as they could realistically get.
The former Aston Villa man has shown in the past that he is a brilliant player at this level, as he scores goals, is excellent on the ball and a real leader. So, securing the signature of the Ireland international would be a real coup for Sheffield United.
From Hourihane’s perspective, the chance to join a club that will expect to compete for promotion must appeal and it would appear to be a good move for all parties.
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Hourihane has proved over the years that when he plays in the Championship, he is one of the top midfielders in the division and he did just that when he moved to Swansea on loan for the second half of the 2020-21 campaign.
Both a goal-getter and a playmaker, the Ireland international would be wise to seek a permanent exit from Aston Villa as he just isn’t getting the chances to play anymore, so if he wants minutes then a Championship switch would make a lot of sense.
As for Sheffield United, they look like they’re in the market for another centre midfielder and have already been linked with Tom Cairney this summer, and with Sander Berge probably departing for big money they can afford to spend a couple of million on some proven Championship quality.
Hourihane could provide something that John Fleck and Oliver Norwood perhaps can’t – a goal threat – and his track record of goalscoring and general all-round performances show that he should be a top target for teams targeting promotion to the Premier League next season and Sheffield United should probably pounce now before others take an interest.
This would be a smart signing by the Blades.
Additional strength in depth in midfield would be more than welcome at Sheffield United, and Hourihane would be a risk-free signing for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, as they already know that he’s more than capable of performing to a high standard in the Championship.
He netted five goals and was on hand to provide two assists for Swansea City last term, as they narrowly missed out on promotion into the Premier League.
If he can replicate those impressive showings with the Blades, then they could cause a number of problems going forwards, especially when you add Hourihane’s creative ability with Oliver Norwood’s.
It’s a recipe for success.