Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa were all promoted from the Championship last season. We look at how Sheffield United did it, what they will bring to the Premier League and how they can strengthen over the summer.

 

The 2018-19 story…

 

Sheffield United proved that money is not everything in the Championship, attaining a second-placed finish with a bottom half budget.


The success can be put down to the brilliance of manager Chris Wilder who, as a supporter and an ex-player, has captured the imagination of natives – he has proved a fine tactician, too.

 

 

The Blades had been unlucky in 2017-18 to concede a large proportion of their goals from long range, but the addition of goalkeeper Dean Henderson and centre-back John Egan improved their defensive efforts.

 

Going forward, meanwhile, it was another fairy-tale campaign for Blade-by-birth Billy Sharp, who bagged 23 league goals – of which 13 came in the six-yard box – the 33-year-old might struggle to get quite so many clear cut chances in the Premier League, but his poaching instincts are top notch.

 

What they’ll bring…

 

Keep-ball expertise.

 

One would think that a team allowing centre-backs, Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell, to operate like wingers – and sometimes pushes as many as nine men in the opposing half – is very gung-ho, but in fact United are all about control.

 

 

They frequently create overloads out wide but in doing so, are very rarely willing to compromise their structure; passing moves are co-ordinated with meticulous preparation.

 

Creative forward David McGoldrick has more than earnt his shot at the Premier League after consistently thriving in the Championship when fit.

 

Oliver Norwood, who has been part of three consecutive second-tier promotions with three different teams, is ready to step up too.

 

 

Summer targets…

 

Find as much harmony off-the-field as there is on it.

 

While Basham was leading the conga, Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah were squabbling over ownership of the club, which has been taken into a legal battle.

 

Chris Wilder has been handed a transfer budget, but it is likely to be a modest one amid the off-field turbulence.

Sheffield United

 

With those funds, he will hope to secure another loan deal for Henderson and Kieran Dowell, add depth in wing-back and midfield positions whilst maybe looking for a bit more pace in forward areas to give them the option to counter-attack.

Sheffield United Odds:

To Be Relegated

To Stay Up

Top Half Finish

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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