Forget it Wilder – Why Sheff United would be better off dropping their interest in this 21-year-old starlet


Why Sheffield United should avoid a move for Clarke Oduor

According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Yorkshire Live), Sheffield United have been credited with an interest in Barnsley defender Clarke Oduor, who enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Tykes in the EFL Championship last term. 

As per the report, the Blades are still in the market for some additional cover in the left-back department this summer despite losing out to Fulham in the race to sign Wigan Athletic starlet Antonee Robinson. 

Oduor impressed in a left-back role for Gerhard Struber’s side in the second-tier last season. He featured 16 times as Barnsley somehow survived relegation. 

Clarke Oduor accolade shows he may have been a vital asset to ...
Clarke Oduor rose through the youth ranks of Leeds United (Getty Images)


Born in Siaya, Kenya, Clarke Oduor moved to England at a young age and rose through the youth ranks of Leeds United before making his professional debut for the Whites in the FA Cup.

The 21-year-old made only a solitary first-team appearance for Leeds but he featured regularly for the club’s U-23 side in the Professional Development League. Oduor was snapped up by Barnsley last summer and made his first Championship appearance in December 2019.

The Kenyan came through the door at Oakwell with the reputation of being a versatile player capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, full-back, wing-back and also as a winger. Barnsley boss Struber, though, utilised him in a left-back role towards the second half of the previous campaign and it seemed to suit his style of play.

Why Sheffield United don’t need Oduor

Sheffield United are understood to be in the market for a new left-back but it’s hard to understand why the Blades would ideally need defensive reinforcements.

Clarke Oduor (@Clarke_Oduor) | Twitter
Oduor made 16 appearances for Barnsley in the Championship last season (Getty Images)

They shipped just 39 goals in 38 Premier League outings last term, which was the fourth-best defensive record in the entire division behind the likes of Liverpool, Man City, and Man United.

Their defensive organisation and discipline at the back were obvious and the number of goals they conceded clearly indicate that defensive recruitment need not be a priority for the club this summer.

Talking about squad depth, Sheffield United have already got the likes of Ben Osborn and Jack Robinson to cover for undisputed first-choice left wing-back Enda Stevens, who started each of the Blades’ 38 league fixtures last season.

Hence, it’s hard to see how an unproven talent like Clarke Oduor would fit into Chris Wilder’s plans in the Premier League next season. The 21-year-old has only just started to make a name for himself in the Championship and he certainly needs more time and experience to make the step up to the top-flight.

The making of Chris Wilder: How lower-league battles forged ...Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder (Getty Images)

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Hence, Sheffield United would be better off dropping their interest in Clarke Oduor, at least for the time being. The 21-year-old could be a good investment for the future but the Blades need to focus more on getting some immediate game-changers on board. 

Wilder should concentrate on bolstering his attack given that his team’s tally of 39 goals in the Premier League last season was the worst scoring record among the division’s top ten sides.