Sheffield United were one of the many Premier League teams active during Deadline Day, making the most of the final hours of the summer transfer window.
The Blades managed to pull off a doubleheader of signings before the afternoon was done, bringing in both Michael Verrips and Muhamed Besic to end the offseason with ten new acquisitions.
For a team that is set to fight for survival, United have done well to ready themselves for the new year ahead.
Another quality keeper
The day started with United announcing the signing of Verrips on a free transfer from Belgian side KV Mechelen.
The Dutchman came up through the ranks at PSV Eindhoven before moving on to clubs like FC Twente and Sparta Rotterdam. The 22-year-old signed a long term contract that will keep him with the Blades until 2023, securing his future at Bramall Lane.
“I’ve been welcomed well and I'm looking forward to the challenge,” said Verrips via the official club website.
“I've already got a good impression about the club and the people here. I'm happy with the trust that has been shown in me and I'm looking forward to showing people what I can do.”
His signing gives United another option to turn to in goal if need be. He’ll likely start off as the backup to expected starter Dean Henderson, who returned to the club on loan from Manchester United after helping the Blades to promotion the year before. He’ll be more than a capable reserve and should feature in a couple of games in different competitions as the season goes on.
An experienced midfielder
The marquee signing came in a bit later in the dying minutes of the window, as United were just about able to bring in Bosnian international Mo Bešić on a one-year loan.
The acquisition came so late that the club needed to submit a deal sheet to the Premier League offices to extend the deadline, but they were able to get the deal across the line.
Bešić made his name at the 2014 World Cup, famously man-marking Lionel Messi when Bosnia took on Argentina in a group stage matchup. The Barca man did score on the night, but Bešić’s performance impressed many, ultimately earning him a move to Everton.
After a promising start to life on Merseyside, injuries began to really hurt the midfielder, making it tough for him to get a constant run of games in. He was eventually loaned out to Middlesbrough in January of 2018, where he would spend the next year and a half in the Championship. Now, Bešić is back in the Prem, and ready to get to work.
“Mo is a proper player,” said United manager Chris Wilder via the official club website.
“He has a great pedigree which includes playing internationally and playing in the Premier League. He is an excellent all-round central midfielder, and is someone who can do everything we want a midfielder to do.”
Bešić, after getting used to life at Bramall Lane, will likely be a key member of the squad this season. He’ll bring plenty of experience to the midfield, which will be crucial in terms of helping the Blades stay up. The Bosnian has been in these types of scrapes before and knows how to get out of them alive.
Known for his tenacity, Bešić will mainly focus on helping out the backline, which is pivotal considering United will spend most games sat back and absorbing pressure. He’s got some quality on the ball as well, however, possessing the ability to dribble into space and pick out a pass when need be.
It will be a tough test to stay up this season for the Blades, but if they are able to starve off relegation, their shrewd business on deadline day will be a big reason why.