Why Nicolas Gaitan would be a smashing signing for Sheffield United
The Blades, though, are not the only Premier League side to have been credited with an interest in the 31-year-old veteran, with West Ham and Aston Villa also hot on trail of Gaitan, who will be available for free in January after his contract expires in December. (h/t Guardian)
The 16-cap Argentinian international enjoyed a successful campaign in the United States, racking up 4 goals and 11 assists in 27 league outings for Chicago Fire.
Gaitan’s impressive displays in the recently-concluded MLS season, coupled with his imminent availability on a free transfer during the mid-season trading period, have put some of the Premier League clubs on red alert.
The winger has plied his trade away from Europe ever since his move to Chinese side Dalian Yifang from Atletico Madrid back in February 2018 but his upturn of form in the MLS has once again put him on the verge of a return to the continent.
A youth exponent of Boca Juniors, Nicolas Gaitan shot to prominence in his homeland with his boyhood club before earning a move to Europe for the first time with Benfica back in 2010.
The Argentinian went on to establish himself as a force to reckon with in the continent over the course of his six seasons at Benfica in the Portuguese top-flight, accumulating eye-watering returns of 41 goals and 88 assists in 253 appearances for the Eagles in all competitions.
Those impressive returns paved the way for a coveted move to the La Liga with Atletico Madrid in 2016 but Gaitan never really managed to establish himself as a regular fixture in the playing eleven under Diego Semione, with the 31-year-old scoring only 4 times in 49 appearances for Los Rojiblancos.
Gaitan’s career in Europe looked set for a premature end when he departed for China following his ill-fated stint at Atletico. However, the Argentinian has done enough over the course of his spells in the Far East and the United States to warrant a move back to the continent.
To put things into perspective, Nicolas Gaitan still looks capable of doing a job for any top club in the world, and Sheffield United would take a big step towards ensuring their survival in the Premier League if they manage to beat off competition in the race to sign the versatile attacker.
Despite his advancing years and absence from the intensifying atmosphere of the European game for a couple of seasons, the 31-year-old’s wealth of experience at the highest level could prove to be an indispensable asset to a newly-promoted team like Sheffield United.
Notwithstanding the fact that Gaitan’s career is currently on the decline, the Argentinian apparently still has some gas left in his tank to make his presence felt, as evident from his impressive returns in the MLS.
Agreed, his success in the MLS hardly guarantees the same in the Premier League and while the Blades are currently exceeding all expectations in the top-flight with their tight-knit squad consisting of only British, Scottish and Irish players, Nicolas Gaitan certainly has the quality to make a difference to their rather blunt attack.
The Blades have shown ample determination under the stewardship of Chris Wilder but returns of 16 goals in 13 games clearly epitomize the need for some attacking reinforcements in January.
The 31-year-old left-footed magician is capable of operating on either flank and through the centre in a No.10 behind the central striker, which can certainly improve Wilder’s dynamics to a large extent.
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All in all, Nicolas Gaitan to Sheffield United in January certainly makes sense for a number of reasons and this is a move that could well prove to be a massive bargain for the Blades.