If you were to tell any Sheffield United supporter at the end of the 2015/16 campaign that their side would be preparing for a return to the Premier League just three years later, they would have understandably have been bemused.
Yet following the Blades’ decision to appoint Chris Wilder as their manager, the Yorkshire-based outfit have experienced an incredible rise to prominence which culminated in a second-place finish in the Championship earlier this month.
Having already guaranteed himself a place in the history books at United, the 51-year-old will be aiming to prolong the club’s stay in the top-flight for as long as he possibly can.
However, in order to give the Blades the best chance of competing with England’s best club sides next season, it is clear that Wilder will have to strengthen his squad over the summer.
One area that the former Northampton Town boss will be looking to improve specifically is central midfield. With Kieran Dowell returning to Everton and Paul Coutts being released by United last week, the club have been linked with a move for a powerhouse who has a proven Premier League track record.
According to Nigerian news outlet Sports247, the Blades are considering a switch for Middlesbrough midfielder John Obi Mikel when the transfer window opens in July. The 32-year-old is available on a free transfer this summer and could turn out to be a fantastic signing if he is able to replicate the form that he produced earlier on in his career.
Having made 249 top-flight appearances for Chelsea during an 11-year stint at Stamford Bridge, the £3.15m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) could use his experience to help United to adjust to their new surroundings.
A fantastic reader of the game who is also very composed when in possession of the ball, Mikel could help the Blades stay up next season if Wilder decides to swoop for the midfielder.
What do you think Blades fans? Should Wilder go all-out to try and sign Mikel in the summer? Or is there another midfielder you think your club should target in the transfer window? Get in touch below.
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