Sheffield United will be playing Premier League football next season – this much is indisputable. But where will the Blades need to improve if they wish to remain in England’s top flight?
Firstly, United will likely need to purchase a new striker for next season. Oli McBurnie is too inconsistent and unrefined for the Premier League – while he will provide a decent option from the bench due to his physicality, the Blades cannot rely on him to be their primary source of goals. On top of this, his contract is set to expire in the summer – he could leave Bramall Lane before the next season begins.
While Iliman Ndiaye will almost definitely thrive in the Premier League, he is only 21 – he still has plenty of developing to do. Additionally, he has often found himself being deployed behind the main striker towards the end of the current season.
United will also need to refresh their central midfielders – John Fleck and Oliver Norwood are out of contract in June, with Tommy Doyle and James McAtee also returning to their parent club (Manchester City). Bringing Doyle and McAtee back for next season, perhaps on a permanent basis, would be a brilliant move.
Furthermore, United will also need to purchase a Premier League-quality goalkeeper. Adam Davies is a fine deputy, but he shouldn’t be the Blades’ first choice ‘keeper – especially so with Wes Foderingham’s contract set to expire in the summer.