Sheffield United pre-season state of play: who’s missing and Slavisa Jokanovic’s top priorities


Sheffield United players return to Shirecliffe tomorrow to start preparations for the new campaign, which starts on August 7 at home against Birmingham.

It will be the start of a new era under the leadership of Slavisa Jokanovic, which is officially expected to begin later this week.

Not everyone will be present, with some players reporting later.

Monday’s sessions will be taken by existing coaching staff, who have remained at the club, and will work with the new manager.

The club have yet to confirm their tour and preseason game plan, but hope to do so shortly.

Missing players

Not all Sheffield United players will return tomorrow.

Aaron Ramsdale is absent with England at Euro 2020 and when his involvement in this tournament ends he will have the opportunity to take a break before returning.

Rhys Norrington-Davies and John Fleck also had the option of delaying their return as they also spent the summer with Wales and Scotland respectively preparing for the competition.

Kean Bryan’s future

The defender’s contract expires on June 30, but the Blades have offered him a new contract to stay.

The 24-year-old has aroused the interest of several clubs due to his availability and it’s a situation that will become clearer in the coming days.

United expect a decision one way or the other and that will determine whether or not Jokanovic can keep him as part of his plans for next season or seek a replacement.

Players come back from loans

Jake Eastwood, Regan Slater, Luke Freeman, Michael Verrips and Norrington-Davies are the senior players returning from loans.

Eastwood played with Kilmarnock and Grimsby, while goalkeeper Verrips spent the second half of last season with Dutch club FC Emmen.

Slater returns after being on loan for a season at Hull City, while Freeman returns from his time at Nottingham Forest.

Norrington-Davies will make a delayed return after having loans from Luton and Stoke.

Players eager to impress

All players will be keen to impress the 52-year-old Serbian to make sure they are part of his plans for next season, but some have more reasons than others.

Regan Slater has caught the attention of Preston and Charlton, while Hull City have an offer on the table to turn their loan into a permanent one.

It’s unclear how long City will keep this offer open, but Slater will want some clarification on his future. Blade his whole life and having been in the academy from a young age, he wants to be a part of what should be a promotional campaign next season.

However, if the 21-year-old is not part of Jokanovic’s plans, he would be keen to join City again.

Freeman could be offered a new life.

The midfielder arrived in the summer of the 2019-2020 campaign but has only made three Premier League starts. He went to the City Ground last season, but has suffered an injury campaign.

Attacking midfielder, he could be an interesting option for Jokanovic.

Verrips may also want clarification on its role. The 24-year-old was loaned out during the winter transfer window and only made one appearance.

When he left he said he was not happy with his lack of opportunities in cup competitions.

Michael Verrips spent the second half of last season on loan at FC Emmen

Lys Mousset has work to do.

The French striker fell down the pecking order last season amid a campaign of wrestling and fitness issues.

In his two years at the club, he has yet to complete 90 minutes in a game.

Who would you most like to see given a chance under Slavisa Jokanovic? Let us know in the comments section of this story below.


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