Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom says the upcoming summer transfer window will be ‘really tough’ for the Blades.
Sheffield United are returning to the Premier League after a two-year absence. The Blades finished in 2nd place of the Championship table in what was a hugely impressive 2022/23 season for the South Yorkshire side, but they now face an uphill battle to get themselves ready for the top flight.
It was recently reported that Heckingbottom could have just £20million to spend in the transfer market this summer. The Blades’ financial issues have been well-documented this year – so too has their ongoing takeover uncertainty. And it’s making for a difficult-looking summer for Sheffield United as they gear up for their Premier League return.
Speaking to The Star, Heckingbottom said of the summer ahead:
“I think this is going to be a tough window, really tough in fact, for everyone and not just us. There’s reasons for that. The (Premier League) season doesn’t finish until late, because of the World Cup break we had last year, and then everything rolls back to normal so the turnaround for a lot of clubs is going to be really fast. They won’t make decisions on a lot of their players until they know who they can get in themselves, so that could kick everything back a bit later than usual. Price-wise, I think it’s going to be really competitive as well.”
Sheffield United spent well in previous transfer windows and they may be paying the price for that now. Upon their previous promotion to the Premier League in 2019, United paid big for the likes of Sander Berge, Oli McBurnie, and Lys Mousset, and the following season they spent even more money on the likes of Rhian Brewster and Aaron Ramsdale.
But it appears that Sheffield United won’t be spending anywhere near the amounts they’ve spent in previous seasons in this summer’s transfer window, instead relying on the free and loan markets to aid what looks set to be a battle against relegation.
The summer ahead…
For Sheffield United, not all hope is lost going into the summer.
They have some valuable assets in their side in the likes of Berge and Iliman Ndiaye who could be sold, and there’s often good players available for loan and for free signings. But Heckingbottom and Sheffield United will have to act fast to bring them in and they’ll have to wait until later in the summer, as Heckingbottom points out.
It’s certainly going to be a tricky transfer window for the Blades but in Heckingbottom they have a very good coach, and a return to the Premier League will be exciting for fans regardless of how well their side perform in the transfer window this summer.