Sheffield United midfielder Adlene Guedioura has admitted his age and last club will be two reasons why some people may doubt whether he’s a good signing for the Blades, but says he wants to prove them wrong as he spoke to the Sheffield Star last night.
The 35-year-old, who most recently spent two years at Qatari side Al-Gharafa with current Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic, was released on the expiration of his contract in the summer and amid a central midfield shortage at Bramall Lane, he was invited to train with the Championship side last month.
John Lundstram’s summer departure left a void in the middle of the park for the South Yorkshire side, with Norwegian international Sander Berge’s future also looking uncertain up until the last few days of the transfer window after being linked with a move away in recent months.
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Eventually, Jokanovic’s side brought in Morgan Gibbs-White and Conor Hourihane on loan deals from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa in the final knockings of the window, but still had room for one of his most trusted players in Guedioura who worked under him out in Qatar and at Watford.
The 53-year-old hailed the midfielder for the impact he made at Bramall Lane even before he put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal last week, but the Algerian international understands many others will be more sceptical about his arrival.
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Speaking to the Sheffield Star about this scepticism, Guedioura said: “I am sure that, with my age and where I have come from last season, some people will have a bit of doubt.
“But I will have the moment in time to show them what I can do and I want to prove to them that I’m here for good things.
“I want to show them and hopefully we can get some successful moments here.”
He may not be as young as he once was, but he makes up for that in experience and his time in several countries during his playing career should help him in his quest to adapt quickly back to life in England.
With the likes of Conor Hourihane, John Fleck, Oliver Norwood and Sander Berge as top-quality options in the Championship too, he is unlikely to play a huge part in the Blades’ 2021/22 campaign anyway, despite Slavisa Jokanovic’s obvious trust in him.
As the Serbian has already pointed out, he will be a valuable member behind the scenes and you can almost guarantee his most meaningful impact at the South Yorkshire will be away from the TV cameras.
He won promotion at Watford with Jokanovic – and this knowledge of what it takes to win a spot back in the Premier League alongside the likes of Hourihane, Billy Sharp and others can only be a good thing for the Blades who made a slow start to their campaign before the international break.
Guedioura can also play a bit despite potentially coming into the final few years of his professional career, so his leadership as a substitute on the odd occasion could come in handy.