The countdown is on for Sheffield United as they look forward to the return of Premier League football at Bramall Lane in August.
Chris Wilder’s side finished second in the Championship last season to seal automatic promotion alongside league winners Norwich City. This was the second promotion in three years for the Blades, who were promoted from League One in 2017.
The vast majority of Wilder’s current squad are lacking in Premier League experience, with the likes of Richard Stearman, Chris Basham, Enda Stevens and Billy Sharp being the only players who have featured at this level in the past, even then their time at the top has been brief in most cases.
But Blades midfielder John Fleck has now claimed that this lack of experience could actually work in his side’s favour when the new season kicks off.
“It’s similar in a way to when we went up to the Championship,” Fleck told the Sheffield Star.
“Not many of our players had played a lot at that level, either. It’s one of those things I guess and it could be a good or a bad thing. We’ve never had that experience so we’re excited going into it, and that could help us.”
Fleck was an integral figure in the Blades’ promotion, making 46 appearances and registering 11 assists in all competitions for Wilder’s side, and he is one of those preparing for his Premier League debut.
This is a factor that many people would have not considered when assessing United’s chances next season, as the players could significantly benefit from their excitement to make an impact in the top-flight.
This could definitely work in their favour, but I still think Wilder will need to recruit more players with Premier League experience in order to fully equip his squad. It’s about finding the right balance.
The team spirit in this Blades squad is undeniable and this could take them a long way, but they may need an additional sprinkling of proven quality.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.