Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Sheffield United Eyeing A Move For This Talented Free Agent: What Will He Add To Wilder’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Sport24 (translated by HITC), Sheffield United are eyeing a move for Kyriakos Papadopoulos who is currently available as a free agent after being released by Hamburger SV earlier this month. The same source has also revealed that the Blades could offer the Greek centre-back a chance to make a fresh start in England if he can successfully clear a medical at Bramall Lane this summer.

Papadopoulos’ Injury-Ridden Spell In Germany

The Katerini-born defender had endured a difficult spell at Volksparkstadion after being plagued with injuries in recent seasons. He featured in just four matches for Hamburger SV in the recently concluded 2. Bundesliga season, picking up two yellow cards and receiving a total of 284 minutes of game time in the process.

The Greek centre-half was once touted to have a big future in European football based on his incredible rise to prominence at Schalke 04. However, frequent injuries have taken a toll on his body which explains why he has missed so many matches in the Bundesliga of late.

The 28-year-old has represented Greece in 29 senior matches, scoring four goals for his country so far. Maybe a summer move to the Premier League could provide him with a platform to rediscover his form and earn more experience with his nation at the international stage in the coming years.

Sheffield United eyeing a move for Kyriakos Papadopoulos who is seen in the photo
Kiriakos Papadopoulos of Hamburg reacts during the Second Bundesliga match between Hamburger SV and SV Darmstadt 98 at Volksparkstadion on July 28, 2019, in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What Will The Greek International Add To Wilder’s Team?

When Papadopoulos is fit and firing on all cylinders, he can be a decent defender at the back due to his tenacity to win possession back for his side. Standing at 1.85m tall, the Greek defender can be a real handful when jumping in the air as he can overpower the opposition using his remarkable upper-body strength. He is quite aggressive in the way he approaches the game but can sometimes be a bit of a hothead on the pitch which could see him on the receiving end of a few yellow cards from the referee.

There are some serious concerns over his long-term health and value as a defender. At the same time, the Blades can afford to take a gamble on him as he is available for free, which makes him a low-risk acquisition for them this summer. Papadopoulos will not only give Chris Wilder’s men a physical edge in defence but also improve the overall depth of the Sheffield United squad. Plus, he will offer some much-needed competition for the likes of Jack O’Connell, John Egan and Chris Basham at Bramall Lane in the upcoming campaign.

If Wilder is confident about his chances of getting the best out of Papadopoulos in the coming seasons, then the Sheffield boss should consider offering the defender a chance to shine as part of his first-team squad. Otherwise, the Blades might be better of looking at other centre-back options with a better injury history as they look to rebuild their squad in the upcoming transfer window.

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