Sheffield United Opinion: Blades should sign Dean Henderson and Kieran Dowell permanently
According to The Sun, Sheffield United are keen on securing the services of loanees Dean Henderson and Kieran Dowell on a permanent basis at the end of the season, with manager Chris Wilder looking to build a squad capable of surviving in the Premier League.
Sheffield United beat Leeds United to the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship this season to complete a return to the top flight for the first time since 2007.
The Sun understands that Blades manager Chris Wilder has been greatly impressed by the performances of Henderson and Dowell. On loan from Man United and Everton respectively, he believes the duo can make the step up to the Premier League next season.
The same source claims that England U21 shot-stopper Henderson has attracted interest from Spurs, Arsenal and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich but he has expressed his desire to feature for Sheffield United in the Premier League after a successful loan spell.
Henderson, who made his move to Bramall Lane on a season-long loan deal last summer, went on to play a key role for the Blades between the sticks and registered a total of 21 clean sheets from 46 appearances.
Dowell, on the other hand, was shipped out on loan by Everton to Sheffield United back in the January transfer window and the attacking midfielder went on to play an important role in the second half of the club’s promotion-winning campaign. The English youth international scored the winner in Sheffield’s 1-0 victory over West Brom back in February and signed off on a high with a goal in the 2-2 draw against Stoke City on the final day.
The Sun also understands that Sheffield United are planning a massive squad overhaul in the summer to get rid of deadwood and bring in some fresh faces to ensure that they have all their bases covered heading into the Premier League.
The likes of Ched Evans, Leon Clarke, Jake Wright, Samir Carruthers, Nathan Thomas, Ben Heneghan and Ricky Holmes have all been deemed surplus to the demands, with the Blades placing all the aforementioned players on the transfer list. On the other hand, Martin Cranie, Daniel Lafferty, Paul Coutts and Conor Washington are set to become free agents next month when their contracts expire. (h/t Sun)
To put things into perspective, Sheffield United are showing plenty of intent ahead of the summer transfer window and they would undoubtedly strike gold by striking permanent deals for two of their most successful loanees, Kieran Dowell and Dean Henderson.
Henderson has been a picture of reliability for the Blades between the sticks this season and the Man United youth product has shown incredible development over the last 12 months or so. He looks more than capable of replicating his success in the Premier League and signing him up permanently would solve a lot of problems in a key area for the Blades.
Dowell, though not as impressive as Henderson, has shown glimpses of his magic at Bramall Lane, and at 21, the time might just be right for him to seek a move away from Everton to enjoy more playtime in the Premier League. The elegant and creative left-footed ace had a fruitful loan spell at Nottingham Forest in the Championship last season but he has found opportunities hard to come by at Goodison Park and there is no reason why he should turn down an offer when Sheffield United are prepared to offer him an escape route.
Mark Duffy has featured in that No.10 role for the Blades this season, but given that he is already 33, someone like Dowell can be a better option for that position given the creativity and talent that he possesses.
To go with his ability to create spaces, Dowell is also a recognised set-piece specialist, who often chips in with spectacular left-footed strikes from outside the box. To sum it up, Dowell’s presence would improve the quality of Sheffield’s supply lines, something that can prove to be a make-or-break factor in their bid for survival in the top-flight.
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Both Henderson and Dowell are top-quality young players with plenty of potential and it is not difficult to see why Sheffield would bag a massive coup by signing them permanently. .