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Opinion: Why Jokanovic should utilise Chelsea contacts to bring possible Baldock replacement to Sheffield United

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Sheffield United are one of only a few Championship sides not to have made a signing in the transfer market during his window.

Fellow promotion rivals Fulham have also failed to recruit anyone yet, although West Bromwich Albion have adopted a different strategy under their new boss Valerien Ismael and moved early by bringing in three.

Most of the transfer headlines regarding the Blades this summer have been rumoured outgoings – and these rumours are likely to continue throughout the next month or so up until the window closes.

When a Championship side has players of the calibre of Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge, this is unsurprising but Slavisa Jokanovic will also want to bring in some of his own signings as he looks to guide Sheffield United back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He may have initially been happy with his squad on paper, but this is a side that finished at the foot of the Premier League table last season by some margin.

With this, fresh blood is needed at Bramall Lane and after having the chance to assess his squad in pre-season training over the past few weeks, the Serbian will have identified key weaknesses as they continue their preparations for their first campaign back in the Championship.

Jokanovic recently stated he was ready to enter the transfer market after this initial delay but with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union making signings from 27 nations on the continent harder, their focus remains in the domestic market.

After seeing then-Udinese loanee Matej Vydra fire his Watford side to promotion in 2015, the 52-year-old knows first-hand how beneficial the European market can be.

However, a two-year spell in his playing career could potentially be his saving grace as he seeks to recruit the high-quality players needed to help guide him to a third managerial promotion in England.

Between 2000 and 2002, Jokanovic played at Chelsea and is still said to be in contact with the club after 19 years.

The Blues have been known for producing promising young players over the years – and the fact he’s not scared to use the loan market this summer could enable the Serbian to exploit that.

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Arsenal are reported to be willing to offer some of their young players on loan to soften the blow of Aaron Ramsdale’s potential departure to the Emirates.

However, the Sheffield United boss is keen to keep the 23-year-old goalkeeper at Bramall Lane and with Ramsdale reiterating his commitment to the Blades last month, this arrangement may not work out.

But with Chelsea, there wouldn’t be any conditions like this. They know how good Jokanovic is as a manager and one player they could potentially look to send out on loan is full-back Dujon Sterling.

According to Goal, Thomas Tuchel is impressed with Sterling’s ability to play in an advanced wing-back role and with that, the Premier League side are set to offer the 21-year-old a new contract.

If the deal is signed before the end of August, there’s every chance he could be shipped out on loan to the Championship, potentially allowing Sterling to come in as a temporary replacement for George Baldock.

Baldock has been linked with a move to Celtic this summer and if this move goes through, Jayden Bogle will be the only senior option they have available at right wing-back.

Although 28-year-old Baldock is an outstanding player, Bogle is also a promising individual who was previously touted as a possible Norwich City replacement for Max Aarons.

Bogle is only 20 and if he remains behind the Englishman in the pecking order at Bramall Lane, it could leave him frustrated and wanting a move away from South Yorkshire.

They cannot allow this to happen and Celtic’s interest in Baldock could be the perfect opportunity for Jokanovic to cash in on the 28-year-old, give Bogle more first-team opportunities and bring in Sterling on loan to provide short-term competition.

Chelsea will want to monitor Sterling’s performances at right wing-back and would be able to do so if the Blades retain their formation from last season and send him on loan to the Championship side.

Providing both with a sufficient amount of game time would be one dilemma the Sheffield United boss would need to sort out – but Sterling is a temporary replacement the Blades should consider if they decide to give in to Celtic and cash in on Baldock.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Why Jokanovic should utilise Chelsea contacts to bring possible Baldock replacement to Sheffield United

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