Sheffield United set sights on Wilder with Heckingbottom at risk - Sources

By Wayne Veysey

27th Sep, 2023 | 10:07am

Sources: Sheffield United set sights on appointing Chris Wilder as Paul Heckingbottom at risk of first sacking of season

Sheffield United are setting their sights on a sensational return for ex-manager Chris Wilder, sources have told Football Insider.

Paul Heckingbottom is now at risk of becoming the season’s first Premier League managerial casualty after a wretched start to the 2023-24 campaign for the Blades.

That poor start was compounded on Sunday (24 September) with the 8-0 home loss against Newcastle United.

Wilder is being sounded out by club chiefs and is believed to be waiting in the wings.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Sheffield United’s owners have patched up their relationship with the 56-year-old after he was sacked as Blades manager back in March 2021.

The move to bring Wilder back to Bramall Lane comes amid major question marks over Heckingbottom’s ability to manage at the Premier League level.

Sheffield United, alongside fellow promoted sides Luton and Burnley, have picked up just one point so far in the 2023-24 campaign.

Heckingbottom, who got the Blades promoted as runners-up last season, has now managed just three wins from 16 total Premier League games as a manager.

Wilder has a better record in the top-flight and led the Yorkshire side to a ninth-place finish in the 2019-20 season.

The ex-Blades defender was sacked in the following season after a poor run of form which contributed to their eventual relegation.

He left his latest job at Watford at the end of the 2022-23 season after a short, unsuccessful spell in charge.

Wilder also departed Middlesbrough earlier on last season after he was sacked following a run of only two wins in 11 matches.

Sheffield United are next in action against West Ham on Saturday (30 September).

In other news, Kieran Maguire reveals “six-figure” Sheffield United deal as owners look to cash in.