Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder eyes more recruits

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder has revealed that Dean Henderson's desire to show his mettle in the cauldron of the Steel City derby and other key Championship games tipped the scales in his decision to join.

Dean Henderson: Capture delighted Chris Wilder.

The Blades beat off competition from several second-tier rivals to sign the highly-rated Manchester United goalkeeper on a season-long loan, with the England Under-21 international keen to continue his development at the sharp end of the Championship on the back of a fine season at League One play-off finalists Shrewsbury.

Wilder, eyeing three or four further ‘quality’ recruits to dovetail the signing of Henderson, said: “He (Henderson) has made the decision. It was not financial. We have done a deal that other clubs, and possibly quite a few more, could have done.

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“When we spoke on the phone to him, Darren (Ward, goalkeeping coach) and I felt we had done our bit and that, hopefully, he would come. Fortunately for us, he did.

“Most importantly, we are getting a really good goalkeeper who wants to put himself in scenarios like Sheffield derbies. We have got three really good keepers now. Dean wants to be in a situation where he is playing for something, hopefully, at the right end of the Championship.”

Wilder has confirmed that Paul Coutts has been pencilled in to make his long-awaited first-team return in a friendly next month – and is not ruling him out from being involved in the Blades’ league opener in early August.

The influential midfielder, 29, has been out of action since mid-November after suffering a fractured tibia in the Championship game at Burton.

Wilder, who says he will assess Ched Evans during pre-season before deciding whether his interests will be better served by going out on loan to boost his game-time levels or by staying put, added: “Paul is really good. I am not going to say he will step in straight away, but he is coming to Portugal (pre-season camp).

“Going into our home fixture in July, we are looking at him being involved. If not, he will be at Doncaster on the Friday (July 27) which is great news.

“I am not saying he is going to be doing everything straight away, but he will be doing the majority of stuff. It is not an unrealistic target for him to be involved on the opening day.”