When Sheffield United announced their retained list earlier this week, the decision not to offer a deal for one player in particular would have come as a shock to many of the club’s supporters.
Having joined the Blades last summer following a brief spell with Middlesbrough, Martin Cranie had to wait until November to make his debut for the club in a clash with Nottingham Forest.
Although his side would go on to lose 1-0 at the City Ground, the central-defender’s impressive individual performance saw him grab the attention of boss Chris Wilder who chose to include him as part of United’s team rotation policy in the second-half of the season.
With the Blades fighting for automatic promotion in the Championship, Cranie used all his experience to help the club overcome the challenge of Leeds United as he played a prominent role in the run-in by featuring in seven of the final ten games of the year.
Therefore, by producing key contributions to the club’s success during the 2018/19 campaign, the defender must have thought that he had done enough to earn a new contract at Bramall Lane. Yet along with Conor Washington, Daniel Lafferty, Paul Coutts and Caolan Lavery, Cranie was released by United on Wednesday (via BBC Sport).
Although Wilder would argue that in the form of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell the Blades already have better options for next season in comparison to the 32-year-old, it may turn out to be a mistake letting him leave.
Having already played at Premier League level before for Huddersfield Town and Southampton, Cranie could have used his experience to help his team-mates make the necessary adjustments needed in order to compete at a higher level.
However, with the club deciding to cut ties with the defender, it would not be at all surprising if they face a season of struggle in the top flight in his absence.
What do you think Blades fans? Was it the right call by Wilder to not offer a new deal for Cranie? Are you confident that your side survive in the Premier League next year? Let us know below.
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