Sheffield United: Three new signings bring real depth to Bramall Lane’s squad

Ryan Leonard kicked-off Sheffield United's latest recruitment drive: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Ryan Leonard kicked-off Sheffield United's latest recruitment drive: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder believes the arrival of Lee Evans, James Wilson and Ryan Leonard at Bramall Lane will help equip Sheffield United with the strength in depth required to maintain their challenge towards the top of the Championship table.

With all three expected to immediately challenge for first team places, the United manager, who has previously expressed reservations about “the numbers” within his squad, faces a series of awkward selection dilemmas ahead of tomorrow’s Steel City derby.

Lee Evans has joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Lee Evans has joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But Wilder said: “Tough choices are what you want. I never want it easy in that regard. The lads have done terrifically well so far but we want to push on, we don’t just want to consolidate.”

United, who are seventh in the table ahead of the meeting with Sheffield Wednesday, began their latest recruitment drive by unveiling Leonard on Tuesday before fellow midfielder Evans and centre-forward Wilson completed transfers from Wolves and Manchester United last night.

“Lee is a great age with his best years ahead of him,” Wilder said. “We’ve watched him and monitored his progress for a while and we’re delighted to get him permanently.

“James has a fantastic pedigree, having come through the ranks at Manchester United and, importantly, has some good Championship experience,” Wilder, referring to previous spells with Derby County and Brighton, added.

James Wilson has joined on loan from Manchester United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

James Wilson has joined on loan from Manchester United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Evans and Leonard, a three-time Southend player of the year, have agreed permanent moves to United while Wilson joins on loan.

“We want to add quality to our ranks and Ryan fits that criteria,” Wilder said.