In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that had many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
Given that Sheffield United have broken their transfer record a number of times in the calendar year of 2019 it seems a good time to look back on some of their biggest investments of the past as we approach 2020. Indeed, in August 2007, the club broke their transfer record to sign striker James Beattie from Everton for £4 million (via BBC Sport).
The Blades had just been relegated from the Premier League after one season in the top flight, but new manager Bryan Robson was given the funds to sign players who could help them bounce back.
Beattie was very much their main signing, and his arrival had Sheffield United supporters extremely excited. This was a player who had up until that point spent his entire career in the Premier League, and had netted double figures in five of his seasons in the top flight (Transfermarkt).
Signing him was, therefore, a real statement of intent from the South Yorkshire club, and he certainly showed why the Blades made him their record signing on the pitch.
The Blades failed to win promotion that year, finishing in ninth place but the form of Beattie was certainly a positive for them.
He then picked up where he left off in the 2008/09 season. After 23 games of the campaign, he had already racked up 12 goals and four assists (Transfermarkt), which attracted interest from Premier League clubs.
Ultimately he decided to leave Sheffield United in January 2009, joining Stoke City in the top flight. His departure was a major blow and the Blades ended up losing the play-off final that season, shaking their attempts to return to the top tier.
However, he certainly enjoyed a fruitful spell at Bramall Lane with 34 goals and nine assists in 62 appearances for the club between 2007-09 (Transfermarkt).
He remained their record signing until 2018 when the Blades signed John Egan (Yorkshire Post), and he should still a legend at the club due to his superb goals record in South Yorkshire.
Sheffield United fans, how good was James Beattie during his time at Bramall Lane? Let us know in the comments below…
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