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Sheffield United TT Round-Up: Wilder could make changes for West Ham game, Blades have joint-best defensive record in Premier League & Southgate monitoring O’Connell

In this instalment of our Transfer Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Sheffield United recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.

Chris Wilder could make changes for West Ham

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has admitted that he could make changes to his starting line-up for their Premier League game against West Ham.

“We could stick with the same players but we’ve assembled a squad so that we can change it round if we need to,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star.

“The hardest thing is to change a winning side but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. We’ve got to look at the players.”

Wilder has stuck with the same back five and goalkeeper all season, whilst the midfield has only been changed when John Fleck was injured and Luke Freeman came in (Transfermarkt).

Therefore the area he is most likely to tinker with is up front. Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick started against Arsenal last time out (BBC Sport), but Callum Robinson and Oliver McBurnie started the game before that (BBC Sport).

Verdict

Given their performance against the Gunners on Monday, it would be a surprise to see Wilder make changes ahead of their trip to the London Stadium.

Mousset was substituted after 56 minutes despite scoring in the match (Transfermarkt), so he should be fresh and given his performance it would be a surprise to see him dropped.

As for McGoldrick, he was making his first appearance since September having struggled with an injury recently, so it could be him that drops out in favour of one of their other strikers.

Blades have joint-best Premier League defensive record

Following the most recent set of fixtures, Sheffield United now boast the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League.

The Blades kept a clean sheet against Arsenal on Monday night, their fourth of the season (via Transfermarkt).

It means that they have conceded just seven goals in their opening nine Premier League outings, a record which only league leaders Liverpool can match at the time of writing (via BBC Sport).

Verdict

Sheffield United have made an outstanding start to life in the Premier League and there is no doubt that their defence is a key reason for that.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defenders Jack O’Connell, John Egan, Chris Basham, George Baldock and Enda Stevens have all been ever-present in the starting 11 this season (Transfermarkt), just as they were in their promotion-winning campaign last year.

That familiarity is obviously proving beneficial and could be crucial to the Blades’ hopes of avoiding relegation this term.

Gareth Southgate monitoring Jack O’Connell

England manager Gareth Southgate is monitoring the performances of Sheffield United centre-back Jack O’Connell ahead of the Three Lions Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo next month.

The former Brentford man has been an ever-present for Sheffield United this season and has helped them to four clean sheets in nine Premier League outings (via Transfermarkt).

According to Sky Sports, Southgate has regularly attended Bramall Lane this season and O’Connell’s performances will surely have impressed him.

Verdict

Southgate’s interest in O’Connell is certainly understandable given that the Blades have the joint best defensive record in the league with just seven goals conceded after nine matches (BBC Sport).

Centre-back has been a problem area for England recently, with the likes of Harry Maguire, John Stones, Michael Keane and Tyron Mings having all been in the team at some point.

As a left-footer, O’Connell could offer some balance to the Three Lions defence and based on his performances so far he would deserve a call-up.

Sheffield United fans, what do you make of these news stories? Let us know in the comments below…

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Sheffield United TT Round-Up: Wilder could make changes for West Ham game, Blades have joint-best defensive record in Premier League & Southgate monitoring O’Connell
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