Chris Wilder was in the midst of overseeing a Sheffield United promotion push for a second successive season in January 2018.
The Blades were sixth in the table after 27 matches and were in the battle for a play-off place.
Having just been promoted to the second tier after winning the League One title the year before, Wilder’s men took to the Championship like a duck to water.
And with the club in the hunt for a place in the Premier League, the Blades’ boss moved to add players he thought would be able to give his side something extra to get to the next step.
On January 15, 2018, Ricky Holmes was one of the men targeted to get Sheffield United to the play-offs as he moved to Bramall Lane.
????CONFIRMED: The Blades have completed a fourth signing of the January transfer window. Ricky Holmes arrives at Bramall Lane on a two-and-a-half-year contract after an undisclosed fee with Charlton Athletic was agreed #ForgedInSteel #twitterblades #SUFC pic.twitter.com/DnmlC87iGv
— Sheffield United (@SUFC_tweets) January 15, 2018
The midfielder made the switch from Charlton Athletic and linked up with his former Northampton boss Wilder.
Holmes signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Championship side as they looked to mount a sustained promotion push.
The 30-year-old’s capture was received with a positive response from many within the Blades’ fanbase.
Hurrah finally ????????⚪️????⚔️ welcome Ricky
— Allison Pearson????????????????????????????????????????❤️⚔️ (@allip75) January 15, 2018
Just the guy we need #Finally
— Colin Clayton (@ColinVClayton) January 15, 2018
Wow. Excellent signing. Him and Duffy on the wings will be lethal.
— Jason (@Hemel_Hatter) January 15, 2018
I like this! A lot!
— George Heeks (@George_C_Heeks) January 15, 2018
His arrival was thought to be an important arrival although it never really took off.
Five appearances was all the former Charlton man would muster for the Blades as his arrival at the club would be met with a finish outside the play-offs.
Having made a handful of appearances he only started the once and after six months with the club, he was sent out on loan.
— Sheffield United (@SUFC_tweets) August 9, 2018
Holmes joined Oxford United on a season-long loan in August 2018, and the reaction to his departure was met with sympathy at how his short stint at Bramall Lane and gone.
What’s the point in signing a player not giving him a chance and then plays well in pre-season just to send him out on loan? ????
— Dan Spillings (@Dan_Spillings) August 9, 2018
Never got a chance a SUFC
— Paddy Allen (@PaddyAllen1) August 10, 2018
— Dave Ward (@wardyblade1975) August 9, 2018
So far for the League One side, he has scored four goals in 15 appearances and is performing well having had a consistent run of games under his belt.
The initial fanfare that greeted Holmes’ signing was positive and optimistic but what followed was a frustrating spell with a lack of opportunity that the Blades fans acknowledged.
It was a tough time for Holmes at Sheffield United who arrived with so much promise but was unable to deliver having had so few opportunities to do so.