Sheffield United chase striker as Chris Wilder looks to complete ‘best ever transfer window’

BULLISH Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder insists that the arrival of another forward will top off the club’s best ever transfer window during his time in charge.

Chris Wilder welcomes new signing Max Lowe. Picture: Darren Staples/Sportimage

The Blades’ preparations for a second successive season of Premier League football – which kicks off with a home game with Wolves on Monday evening – have been boosted by the addition of four new signings in a frenetic few days of activity.

The signings of West Brom forward Oliver Burke and highly-rated Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu followed on from the captures of Derby County duo Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe.

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Earlier in the close season, Wilder brought back former Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale – regarded as one of the best young custodians in the country – to the club, alongside a back-up option in Wes Foderingham.

Wilder is now aiming to add the cherry on the cake in the shape of a new striker to complete his 25-man squad.

Liverpool’s in-demand frontman Rhian Brewster is the Blades’ No 1 target.

The Blades have held talks with Anfield officials.

Wilder said: “A new striker would add us up to a 25-man squad. Then I would look back and regard this as one of our best – if not the best – window we have had since I have been at the club.

“We have signed an outstanding young goalkeeper. I listened to an interview from Gareth (Southgate) last week and he talked about Nick Pope, Dean (Henderson) and Jordan Pickford and then Aaron and said how important it was for him to be included in that group.

“That is just not our opinion, but the manager of England.

“I am thankful for the support I have had from the board and it is a good bit of business. The two boys that we have got in from Derby are there in terms of age of ability. I had a chat with Frank Lampard, who had them under his wing at Derby and said how impressed he was with them.

“Ethan is one we have been tracking for a couple of years and tried to get him in last year, but the Leipzig deal was already down the line.

“With Oli – after a swap with Callum (Robinson), we have raw pace into the team. Getting the other one in is important and we will crack on with that one and when the window shuts, the group is now – and will be – a lot stronger than when we first started that first game last season at Bournemouth, which is all I can ask.”

United’s international brigade are now back in training ahead of Monday’s opener, including fit again defender Jack O’Connell.

The Liverpudlian, 26, capped by England at Under-18s and Under-19 level, has been tipped in several quarters for a future senior call-up and Wilder sees no reason why he cannot force himself into the reckoning if he carries on his form from 2019-20.

Recent evidence has shown that England chief Southgate is increasingly not afraid in looking beyond the top-flight ‘establishment’  to hand opportunities to those at other clubs, with Southampton duo Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse handed caps in the last international break alongside Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips.

On O’Connell’s claims, Wilder said: “One hundred per cent. The great thing that has happened over the past two or three years is that our players have been getting international recognition.

“We are a great supporter of Jack, he’s had an outstanding period. There are a lot of good left-footed centre-halves out there and Jack comes into that category. It is up to him to get back playing after missing the back end of last season.

“Hopefully, he will have a good season. All he can do is play consistently well for Sheffield United, which he has done for a number of years and I am sure if the opportunity comes up, Gareth would be brave enough if he feels he enhances the group.”

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James Mitchinson