THE SHARP BLADE: New striker a priority for Sheffield United

THE Sheffield United squad began their pre-season training this week as they bid to bounce straight back to the Championship.

The squad as it stands is largely the same as last season. The only new recruits so far are Haiti international defender Jean Francois Lescinel and young striker Danny Philliskirk.

Striker Darius Henderson has joined Millwall - which will no doubt help our bid to slash the wage bill - and with the future of promising young forward Jordan Slew still unclear, there are concerns amongst some Blades fans as to who will make up our strike force next season.

If we are to seriously challenge for promotion this season, we need to recruit at least one new striker.

Unitedites who are old enough will remember the last time we played in the third tier of English football.

That season we had a new-look strike force of Brian Deane and Tony Agana and between the two of them they notched 60 goals to fire the Blades to promotion.

Over 20 years on us Blades fans are still hoping that one day we will have such a formidable strike partnership once again.

Of the strikers we currently have on our books you wouldn’t say that any of them are 20+ goal a season forwards.

Ched Evans, who has failed in his time at Bramall Lane to live up to his potential, could well depart, and Richard Cresswell and Daniel Bogdanovic are not out and out goalscorers.

Jordan Slew showed promise towards the end of last season, but several top flight clubs are said to be interested in acquiring his services, and new signing Danny Philliskirk might not quite be ready for the first team just yet.

So it will be interesting to see how Danny Wilson solves this dilemma. One striker Sheffield United are believed to be monitoring is Preston North End’s Neil Mellor, who proved during his time on loan at our old foes from S6 last season that he can score goals at this level.

And the rumour mill is going at full pelt with the likes of Billy Paynter linked with a move to Bramall Lane, and there is even a rumour doing the rounds that former Blades hero James Beattie could make a sensational return.

But at the moment this is all just speculation and it might be a case of having to wait for players to depart until we can bring any more fresh faces in.