Sheffield United legend Paddy Kenny has criticised the Blades’ recruitment policy this summer, saying they left it too late to conduct their transfer business after seeing a deadline day move for Parma’s Yann Karamoh fall through, speaking to Football Insider.
With just a few days left to go in the transfer window at that point, the South Yorkshire side had only managed to bring Ben Davies in on loan from Liverpool, with several other gaps also needing to be addressed in the summer with player departures and defender Jack O’Connell’s injury.
Making the move the other way, star goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale sealed a £30m transfer to Premier League giants Arsenal after becoming one of Sheffield United’s best players in the latter stages of the 2020/21 season and forcing his way into the England squad.
12 of these 25 Sheffield United facts are false – Can you identify them?
But even with the initial £24m to spend, with £6m possibility being generated in future add-ons, there was still a noticeable lack of movement at Bramall Lane on targets until the last two days of the transfer window, sealing three loan signings in Conor Hourihane, Morgan Gibbs-White and Swedish international shot-stopper Robin Olsen in the final 48 hours.
Free agent Adlene Guedioura is also expected to put pen to paper on a deal with the Championship club after arriving in England – but former Blades goalkeeper Paddy Kenny believes the club will be gutted to miss out on further targets to bolster their squad – including Parma’s Yann Karamoh who failed to get a work permit to play in the UK.
In an interview with Football Insider on his former club’s summer, Kenny said: “I just don’t get why they have left it (Karamoh deal) to the last minute.
“If they were that desperate to sign him, it would have all been in place.
“With all this stuff with work permits, they shouldn’t have let it get down to the last minute.
“I find it strange that clubs leave it so, so late in the window to get their business done.
“If that’s the reason they haven’t got him, they’ve only got themselves to blame. They’ll be gutted even though they have managed to get four others in.”
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union has seemingly made it more difficult for certain players to obtain work permits, so this signing may not have gone through even if they had more time to complete the deal.
However, many people would agree with Kenny when he speaks about Sheffield United leaving their business to the last minute. Managers from across the EFL have commented on the slow nature of this transfer market, with some even saying they haven’t experienced a window like that in their career, but this is no excuse for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.
After dropping down from the Premier League, they surely had at least some funds to go out and strengthen their squad. Jokanovic may have said this is the best squad he has inherited in England, but they needed at least a few more additions to regain a winning mentality after struggling so badly last season.
With Aaron Ramsdale’s departure, they had the opportunity to pay a little extra to get a few deals over the line. You can understand why many clubs are unwilling to pay over the odds during Covid-19 times and due to the EFL’s financial rules, but the goalkeeper’s sale gave them the wiggle room needed to do just that on a few potential targets.
They may have addressed a key position with two top-quality additions in Conor Hourihane and Morgan Gibbs-White arriving in recent days, but they have ideally wanted to recruit a couple of wingers and perhaps get a striker over the line after struggling in front of goal last term.