Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom may be tempted to stamp his own authority on the club’s squad next month by making some significant alterations to his side.
Whereas it is safe to say that the Blades will benefit from drafting in some fresh faces in January, they should also be looking into the possibility of cutting ties with players who have failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis at this level.
Since being handed over the reins at Bramall Lane, Heckingbottom has decided to turn to the likes of John Fleck, Oliver Norwood and Conor Hourihane for inspiration in the heart of midfield.
One of the individuals who has been used exclusively as a substitute by the 44-year-old is Sander Berge.
Signed by United last year, Berge would have been hoping to help the club reach new heights in the Premier League by setting this division alight with his performances.
However, despite showing glimpses of promise at this level, the midfielder was unable to prevent his side from suffering relegation to the Championship.
A stop-start 2021/22 campaign has resulted in Berge being limited to just eight appearances in the second-tier.
When the midfielder has featured for the Blades at this level, he has struggled considerably with his consistency.
Currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.58 in the Championship, the midfielder will need to step up to the mark during the second-half of the season if he is to force his way into Heckingbottom’s plans for future.
Despite his lack of form this season, Berge has recently been linked with a move to Newcastle United.
According to a report from Sky Sports, the Magpies are believed to be interested in the Norwegian.
If Newcastle do decide to test United’s resolve by submitting a bid for Berge, Heckingbottom ought to consider sanctioning a move as he could potentially use the money generated from this particular sale to bring in some reinforcements in January.
Berge’s issues with injuries should also be taken into consideration by the Blades as he has missed a host of games since making the switch to the club.
With there being no guarantee that the 23-year-old will be able to maintain his fitness in the coming seasons, cashing in on him at this stage of his career may turn out to be a wise decision.
However, it is important to note that United will need to draft up a list of players that they are willing to recruit in the coming days before opting to part ways with Berge as a failure to nail their transfer recruitment could have a negative impact on their hopes of securing a top-six finish in the Championship.