Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic has commended new signing Adlene Guedioura for playing an important part in Sheffield United’s squad even before he was offered a contract, speaking about the Algerian international’s contribution to The Star.
The 35-year-old arrived in South Yorkshire on a trial last month, linking up with old boss Jokanovic with the two previously having worked together at Watford and Al-Gharafa.
Along with the Serbian, Guedioura also left the latter side in the summer on the expiration of his contract, allowing the Blades to take a look at him in recent weeks.
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He arrived at Bramall Lane at a time when depth in central midfield was extremely lacking, and though they recruited loanees Conor Hourihane and Morgan Gibbs-White at the end of last month to address what was a previously problematic position, the latter’s ability to play on the wing may open up a spot for the Algerian to make a real impact after signing for the club yesterday.
And as per his boss Slavisa Jokanovic, he’s already made a real difference in South Yorkshire, saying to the Sheffield Star: “He (Guedioura) is champion of one continent. He isn’t like my friend or my brother but he is a guy with a lot of experience and a lot of battles behind him.
“Even without a contract, he helped and supported us a lot. That tells you a lot about him, about his personality and how he is.
“What he can offer us on the field is someone who can be a holding midfielder, someone who can play box to box and who can also score goals.
“What is ahead of us, with a very busy period coming up, he can show us that value in the months ahead.”
Although the highlight of his career in England probably came in 2015 with Watford’s promotion to the Premier League under Jokanovic, he’s already played for several other clubs in the top two tiers of English football during his career including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.
This experience should be a great help to some of the younger players including 21-year-old Iliman Ndiaye and Wolves loanee Morgan Gibbs-White, with both also able to count on the experience of fellow recruit Conor Hourihane who has played regularly in the Premier League and Championship during his career.
But focusing more on Guedioura, these comments can only be a positive for Sheffield United fans and the majority probably expected him to be like this behind the scenes anyway as an experienced player and one of Jokanovic’s most trusted men.
He may only spend a year or two at Bramall Lane, but his promotion-winning experience will be majorly beneficial to a side looking to climb up the Premier League experience – and it wouldn’t even be a surprise to hear he was one of the key men behind the Peterborough result.
With their first win under their belt and the ability to now use the 35-year-old as an option, things are looking up for the Blades. But they need to build on Saturday with a win against Preston North End tonight.