Blades targeting Championship forwards in January
Sheffield United are reportedly targeting forwards Jarrod Bowen and Ollie Watkins in January - but they won't find it easy to lure either to Bramall Lane.
The Blades have been linked with a £20m move for prolific Hull City star Bowen, who has scored 14 Championship goals this season to trail only Aleksandar Mitrovic in the division’s scoring charts.
Bowen is on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs with Newcastle and Bournemouth also said to be keen on the ex-Hereford United wonderkid.
He fits the profile of the sort of player Sheffield United usually go after because he is young, hungry and as-yet unproven at the top-level – an attribute that Chris Wilder loves when targeting new signings.
Many of his and the Blades best signings have been unproven at the level where the club were and, although it is risky to go after these players, the upside is there for all to see with the club’s rise up two divisions under the manager.
Hull City will be keen to keep hold of the forward, however, because they can sense an opportunity to get into the play-offs at the end of this season.
He was linked to Bramall Lane during the summer but a move failed to materialise and he remained in west London.
Like Hull, it remains to be seen if Brentford will be open to offers for the 23-year-old goalscorer.
The Bees are pushing for promotion under Thomas Frank and would view the loss of Watkins as a huge blow to their ambitions of challenging for a place in the Premier League.
The former Exeter City man has spent most of his career on the wing but Frank has moved him into the middle this season and that has paid off, with Watkins weighing in with 12 goals and a couple of assists in 19 Championship games so far.
Worse still for Wilder, Watkins says he is happy at Griffin Park.
“To be honest, I’m really happy here,” Watkins told the Sky Sports EFL Podcast. “This is the best chance this year of doing something really special.
“I’m really happy, I’m enjoying it, I’m scoring. There’s a good team connection here and I’m loving it and am happy here.”
Wilder might still be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat in January and could instead look to raid a fellow Premier League club’s squad – as he did with great success in the summer with Lys Mousset.