Sheffield United made it three wins from three following on from their impressive performance in a 3-0 outclassing of high-flying Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
The Blades are showing the same skill and passion as they have previously, and a string of good results could generate one or two optimistic fans over the coming months. Chris Wilder deserves plenty of credit for overseeing an incredible swing in fortunes over the last two seasons at the helm.
Despite seven goals in the previous three games, coming from all over the park, lots of Blades fans are calling for the powers that be to land a top-class Championship striker, and with rumours generating over the past few weeks that Scott Hogan could be just the man to lead to the line in potentially a play-off push for Sheffield United.
The signing of Hogan would no doubt be an incredible capture for Wilder and Knill. Players such as Dean Henderson, John Egan, and most recently Oliver Norwood, have all come in over the summer and have paired outstanding performances with passion – all three are quickly becoming fan favourites. So with the addition of Hogan, it would be a clean sweep of extra quality across each line.
However, it is not so simple. Despite the need for quality in the final third, their are still a few niggling issues with the recruitment of a player of Hogan’s level. One point being that the striker has extortionate wage demands. With the move having to be on loan, the wages, believed to be in excess of £35K a week, would be a considerable rise in comparison to other players. Despite the experience and £15M price that Aston Villa paid, it could lead to a disharmony in the squad and result in perhaps a few other players demanding an increase due to the level Hogan is at.
Furthermore, Wilder over the past three games has had a fiddle with the two front men. Despite a frustrating drought, Leon Clarke is edging ever closer and was involved in a clever dummy that allowed Kieron Freeman’s cross-turned-shot to sneak in. On the other hand, Billy Sharp has been smashing in the goals, three goals in his last four appearances in all competitions has got the veteran striker back in full swing. On top of this, summer signing David McGoldrick has provided an assist and a goal in his past three Championship appreances. Whilst both from the bench, both turned out to be match winners. (Assist for Billy Sharp vs Norwich; Goal [pen] vs QPR).
A change in formation could be the case given the style of football Sheffield United have been playing under Wilder. However, the idea of having a wide five at the back tactic with three up top would be revolutionary to say the least. Hogan and Sharp alongside the bigger Clarke is something to consider, although Wilder is more likely to have a duo with a number 10 or attacking midfielder playing in just behind. The likes of Mark Duffy and Ben Woodburn being the main options.
Where Hogan would fit in with the grand plan of Wilder is definitely up in the air at the minute. That being said, quality additions are what Blades fans have called for over the summer and actually for quite a few years now. If Hogan does indeed sign, it is not only a step in the right direction, but it is also a huge statement to the rest of the Championship that Sheffield United are a club that means business.
Picture Credit: Birmingham Mail