Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has said the club’s board must stick to the transfer promises they made before he joined the club in May, speaking to Yorkshire Live after continuing their winless run yesterday.
The Blades have only made one signing during the transfer window so far, recruiting central defender Ben Davies on a loan deal from former Premier League champions Liverpool after seeing Kean Bryan and Phil Jagielka leave the club this summer, with Jack O’Connell remaining out injured with a serious knee injury.
Current Sampdoria and former Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira was expected to follow him through the door at Bramall Lane, but after finding out it would have taken longer to see the 23-year-old in action than first realise, they pulled the plug on this deal at the 11th hour.
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Entering the final knockings of the transfer window, no other deals look close at this stage and manager Jokanovic faces the prospect of having to wait until January to strengthen what looks to be a thin squad in certain areas.
The South Yorkshire side have the money to spend after selling star goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to Arsenal in a deal worth up to £30m, but his sale last week hasn’t been the catalyst for incomings at the Championship side.
With the club failing to win any of their first five league games of the season, they go into the international break looking back on what has been a torrid start to the campaign. In his latest public appeal for help from the board, he spoke to the press after their 0-0 draw against Luton Town and said: “Listen, we must stick to our (transfer) strategy and the plan what was promised me before I arrived at this club and that’s it.
“I don’t change anything. I don’t know if the opinion now is that we are so good that we don’t need any improvement.
“Before I signed for the club we had some plan to bring in four players. I add one more and then we lost the keeper and we need to be thinking about replacement of this position.
“I don’t need to explain more clearly. This is not my plan, this is the board’s plan and I accept that.”
Although the existing players and staff have to do better with all their Premier League-experienced players, you have to feel for Slavisa Jokanovic in terms of the lack of signings he’s been able to make in recent months.
He may have only arrived at the start of last month due to his contract at previous side Al-Gharafa and needed to assess the squad first – but they should have at least a few more deals completed by now.
Whilst it’s clear they don’t require a rebuild, even after Aaron Ramsdale’s departure, they are lacking the depth required to win promotion in various areas of the park and this could prove costly if they don’t act to rectify their lack of transfer movement.
The central midfield position is one they desperately need to strengthen with John Lundstram’s leaving in the summer and Sander Berge’s future looking unclear even as we approach deadline day on Tuesday.
You also have to look at central defence after seeing the likes of Jagielka and Bryan leave, as well as the fact they have little to no options on the wing if Jokanovic wants to switch up the system. With this, there’s lots of work to be done in the coming days.