Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United transfer wish as he seeks to avoid Slavisa Jokanovic issue
Paul Heckingbottom wants to change United’s approach to transfers when it comes to new signings. The previous two windows have seen deals to bring in players until the death but he urges the club to be more proactive in their approach to this summer’s activity.
He made a frustrated figure during the last window. He started in January talking about wanting to make permanent signings, only to reveal two days before the end that they were now in the loan market and had missed targets by “being too slow”. Charlie Goode arrived from Brentford before the deadline but had only played six league games that season.
He hadn’t played as much with the Bees due to injury and only played twice for Sheffield United before injury struck again.
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The previous window saw former manager Slavisa Jokanovic unrestrained in her criticism of the way transfers were handled. With just three days to go, he urged the board to “deliver on their promise” after growing frustrated at the lack of action.
Only Ben Davies had arrived on loan from Liverpool at this stage, before a flurry of activity saw three players join before the deadline, but two more slipped through the net in the two positions he desperately wanted. The approach of this window was a sore point for the Serb and his side weren’t ready at the start of the season.
It took six matches to record his first win, but Heckingbottom wants to avoid that scenario happening again. He says it’s important the club understand why they need to be able to bring players in early and not at the end of a window.
“First day [when he wants signings]. It’s not going to happen, but day one,” he told Yorkshire Live.
“A lot of what I’m saying is if we want to work with players, we want them from day one. I don’t see why not.
“If we can start working with him in June rather than mid-September, that makes a three-month difference. If you get them in September, it’s November/December before [up and running] and you are well in season.
“There are always things to do at the end, loans especially from Premier League clubs, especially big ones, they are going to have a lot of their young boys in and around the team and the decisions are not going to be done until they name their 25, we understand all of that, but there are still other things we can do to build the squad.”