Why Sander Berge may have to get used to playing on the wing for Sheffield United

Slavisa Jokanovic is looking for his Sheffield United players to be adaptable to make up for the shortcomings of the club’s transfer window. It could mean more time on the wing for Sander Berge.

Jokanovic likes to play 
4-2-3-1 but inherited a first-team squad and a youth set-up tailored to Chris Wilder’s 3-5-2/3-4-1-2 shape.

The new manager asked his club to recruit wingers in the summer but they were unable to, missing out on Amad Diallo, Yann Karamoh and Alex Collado amongst others.

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Jokanovic has played 
4-2-3-1 in the two matches since the window shut. Attacking midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White started on the right in both games, with central midfielders Ben Osborn and Luke Freeman on the left.

Sander Berge of Sheffield Unied celebrates after scoring to make it 2-1 against Preston (Picture: Simon Bellis / Sportimage)

Berge came off the bench to replace Freeman on the left wing in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Peterborough United, and switched to the right when centre-forward Rhian Brewster came on there.

Berge is a holding or box-to-box midfielder but often showed under Wilder he could make good runs outside from the right of a central three. He scored from the right wing on Tuesday.

“I asked him where he can play in these positions, I wanted more passing to make them more tired,” explained Jokanovic. “His contribution was good and he scored.

“His (best) position is in the middle but with his quality he can attack and I feel he did a good job.

Slavisa Jokanovic manager of Sheffield United (Picture: Andrew Yates / Sportimage)

“I am trying to find some players to adapt if we want to play this style right now.

“Why not? Football players can play in different positions.”

Brewster and Oliver Burke played wide in a 4-2-3-1 at Swansea City in August. The Blades have six senior centre-forwards vying for one position.

With eight goals and four points in the space of four days, as opposed to one and two in the first five matches, the Blades have made a step forward since transfer deadline day and an international break which allowed Jokanovic to work on ideas with most of his players.

Sander Berge of Sheffield Utd scores to make it 2-1 (Picture: Simon Bellis / Sportimage)

“We are still in some kind of process, some of my players were not with us during the international break,” he said. “We want to give them more instruction and improve our performance. It’s not a question of style it’s a question of performance.

“We are getting there, but we are still looking for what are the best options for us.”