Chris Wilder hopes to bring two of his former Sheffield United stars to Middlesbrough with TEAMtalk claiming Chris Basham and Oliver Burke are in his sights.
Neil Warnock was far from pleased by the nature and timing of his departure from the Riverside but, deep down, football’s Mr Immortal would have to admit his successor in the Boro hot seat represents one heck of a coup for a club sitting 14th in the Championship.
Yes, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United tenure may have ended with a whimper but – like Eddie Howe at Newcastle United – the former Blades boss doesn’t deserve to see his reputation tainted by one bad year out of five.
As recently as June 2020, Sheffield United were thumping future European champions Chelsea 3-0 in front of a bouncing Bramall Lane.
At the time, the Steel City giants looked genuine contenders for a Europa League birth. Take a moment to appreciate just what an achievement that was, regardless of how things ended for Wilder at his boyhood club.
Can Chris Wilder take Middlesbrough to the promised land?
Wilder transformed the likes of John Fleck, John Egan, Enda Stevens, Lys Mousset and George Baldock into fleeting top-flight stars, while the likes of Basham and Burke also played some of their best football under a man whose name has become synonymous with success at every level of English football.
And, according to TEAMtalk, Wilder is looking to bring a pair of trusted lieutenants with him to Middlesbrough as he aims to wave his magic wand over a club that has underwhelmed in recent months.
It’s understood Sheffield United won’t stand in Basham’s way if the versatile, 33-year-old defender is open to working with Wilder again.
Neither he nor Scotland international Burke, who would “love” to reunite with his former boss, are part of Slavisa Jokanovic’s plans at Sheffield United.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Bash as a player and a person,” Wilder said of Basham, who joined Sheffield United in 2014 when they were still a third-tier club (Examiner Live).
“He’s a modern-day manager’s dream. He gives everything. He’ll do whatever needs to be done to help this football club – and he’s been brilliant for me.
“His performances have been brilliant right the way through.”