Opinion – Sheffield United should leave no stone unturned in their ambitious swoop for this Premier League striker duo


Chris Wilder

Sheffield United must sign Jermain Defoe and Shane Long

According to reputed journalist Alan Biggs (h/t The Star), EFL Championship club Sheffield United are plotting an ambitious move to sign Premier League strikers Jermain Defoe and Shane Long from Bournemouth and Southampton respectively.

Chris Wilder’s side has made an excellent start to the season and currently sit 4th in the Championship table, with 30 points from 17 games – just three points off of leaders Norwich City.

An automatic promotion back to the Premier League by virtue of either a top-two finish or through the playoffs is well within their reach, given how strongly they have started. But a couple of additions to the squad in the January window would be the right way to go for them to strengthen their chances of returning to the top tier.

The centre-forward department could use some reinforcements for the Blades. While Billy Sharp has been going strong, having bagged 10 goals in 15 league outings already, the same cannot be said of his strike partners. David McGoldrick has managed five goals so far while last season’s star Leon Clarke has found the net just once and Conor Washington is yet to get off the mark for the season.


This has placed a lot of goalscoring burden on Sharp alone and bringing in a new forward in January would help him while adding another avenue of goals to Sheffield United’s attack.

Defoe, despite being 36, remains a capable striker. He did have a poor campaign with Bournemouth last season and the veteran striker has featured just 7 times in the ongoing season, owing to Callum Wilson’s brilliant form, and has managed a solitary assist in his limited game time.

Sure, he is not the same player he was a few years ago but someone with 163 Premier League goals doesn’t lose that touch or quality. Given the opportunity, the Englishman is capable of delivering on the Championship stage. If not as a regular starter, he could be more than a potent impact substitute.

Shane Long

Long, on the other hand, has been in and out of the team at Southampton under Mark Hughes. The 31-year-old is yet to get off the mark this season but has proven himself in the Premier League for years and has the experience of playing in the English second division as well.

At 31, the Irishman still has plenty left to offer and would add an alternate dimension to the Blades’ attacking play with his game intelligence, sharp movement and finishing skills.

Read More: Two players Sheffield United must sign in January – including this 24-year-old League One sensation

Wages could prove to be a stumbling block for Sheffield United but should they be able to land either of the two players, their hopes of promotion will receive a major boost. And hence, they should continue with their ambitious pursuit of Defoe and Long.

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