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Paul Heckingbottom issues verdict on marquee signing at Sheffield United

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Paul Heckingbottom does not believe Anel Ahmedhodzic will struggle to adapt to English football.

The defender is Sheffield United’s marquee signing so far this transfer window, arriving from Swedish outfit Malmo FF.

However, he has experience playing in English football before having previously come through as part of Nottingham Forest’s academy.

While he did only make one senior appearance for the Reds, Heckingbottom does not envisage the centre back having any trouble acclimating to the Championship.

The 45-year old has backed his new £3 million addition to slot right into the team from the get go as his side aims for promotion to the Premier League this season.

The United boss believes his experience in Europe, and that being an admirer of English football will help him get to grips with his new surroundings.

“Anel is a big fan of English football,” said Heckingbottom, via the Star.

“It was his decision [to leave Forest] and a brave decision to go back to Malmo and come through there, and he has been proved right.

“He has won titles there, played in the Champions League there and become a full international there.

“It’s that stepping stone time again and I think English football is good for him. The challenges of the Championship will help him improve those areas of his game which we want to improve him in.

“He also has big attributes which you will see when you see him play. He’s good on the ball, he can pass the ball really well, he’s very athletic and will get forward from centre back positions. He has good pace on the recovery.

“He knows what he’s stepping into in the Championship, he’s excited and ready for it.”

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United have got their pre-season preparations well underway with the new campaign only a couple of weeks away.

A 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town was the latest result, as the team looks to gain full fitness ahead of the opening game of the new term.

The Blades open their season with a trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford on August 1.

The Verdict

Ahmedhodzic’s experience playing in England, while brief, should help him with his understanding of its intricacies. 

He would have learned a lot of the basics during his time at Forest and he has since gone on to compete at the highest level of European competition.

That kind of experience will actually be a huge boost to his United teammates, showing he could perhaps take on a leadership role within the dressing room.

This is a very exciting signing of a talented defender who should have no issues transitioning to Championship football.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Paul Heckingbottom issues verdict on marquee signing at Sheffield United

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