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 completed the season-long loan signing of Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White on Deadline Day.
It turned out to be a busy end to the window for the Blades, who added Conor Hourihane on loan from Aston Villa the previous day, and beat the clock to bring in Robin Olsen on loan from Roma.
Gibbs-White penned a season-long loan move from Wolves on Deadline Day, though, with the young midfielder looking to get regular minutes under his belt away from Molineux.
Will he be a guaranteed regular starter for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, though? Here, we discuss…
It very much depends on the system Slavisa Jokanovic will employ and the Serbian’s verdict on Gibbs-White’s best position.
The 21-year-old has predominantly played as a central midfielder during his career, an area they have now strengthened with his addition and the arrival of Conor Hourihane at Bramall Lane.
If the Blades decide to stick with their notorious five-at-the-back and opt for three central midfielders, you have to say Sander Berge and Hourihane probably start ahead of Gibbs-White, although the third spot would definitely be up for grabs with Oliver Norwood, John Fleck and the Wolves loanee all in line to compete with that starting place.
Gibbs-White has the advantage of playing in a more advanced role though, so he could be played in front of Berge and Hourihane. But again, it’s not guaranteed he would get that spot.
The 21-year-old is also a candidate to play on the wing with him and Oliver Burke the most obvious options out there. Jokanovic failed to bring in any wingers this summer to give them something different going forward, so if they opt with a flat back four and want to utilise wingers, he could also be an option.
No start is guaranteed though with the strength of their squad, despite a reasonably poor summer in terms of recruitment.
With the way Sheffield United have started the season, it’s clear to see that they’ve been lacking creativity and a spark in the final third.
Slavisa Jokanovic already had options in the engine room with Ben Osborn and Luke Freeman backing up Oliver Norwood, Sander Berge and John Fleck but the general consensus was that the latter trio weren’t really pulling their weight.
That is why the additions of Conor Hourihane and Gibbs-White were very much needed to freshen things up and in the case of the Wolves youngster I believe that he gets thrown straight in there following the international break.
He’s clearly match fit as we’ve seen him appear for Wolves this season, scoring in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest and regardless of what system Jokanovic is planning on using going forward, whether that’s a 5-3-2 or 4-2-3-1, Gibbs-White should probably be the starting attacking midfielder.
The youngster is a supremely talented player with a bit of Premier League experience and his athleticism and dynamism can really help the Blades out in the final third going forward this season.
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This seems to be a very astute signing for Sheffield United and Gibbs-White will offer them the sort of qualities that they have been crying out for in the middle of the park since the season started.
The Blades have had a real lack of creativity and that has hampered their ability to secure three points so far in the league under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Gibbs-White is the sort of player that is not afraid to take risks in possession in the final third and he has the quality to take advantage when he gets into good areas in and around the edge of the box.
The 21-year-old is at the age now where he needs to really deliver over the course of a full season and show Wolves that he is a player that should be viewed as having a key role for them in the Premier League in years to come.
Jokanovic has a good record for developing young talents in the Championship and he got the best out of Tom Cairney in a creative and goal-scoring midfield role at Fulham. You could see a similar story happening here with Gibbs-White.
All of a sudden Sheffield United could have a very strong and attacking midfield with both Conor Hourihane and Gibbs-White pulling the strings for them.
You would expect him to be a starter for them for sure given their issues in the middle of the park at the start of the campaign.