DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has shed further light on why he views Scotland as such a rich source of talent in the transfer market, writes James Shield.
As The Star revealed last year, Wilson and his backroom staff are in the process of establishing an extensive scouting network north of the border following the arrival of Jamie Murphy and Ryan Flynn at Bramall Lane.
Despite acknowledging the move is a response to the implications of new financial measures, including Salary Cost Management Protocol, which limits the amount of money United can spend on players, the former Northern Ireland international revealed another important factor behind his thinking.
Assessing Murphy’s contribution to last weekend’s FA Cup success over Oxford, Wilson said: “Jamie wasn’t fazed by the situation at all and why would he be?
“When you’ve performed in front of 60,000 people at somewhere like Celtic or done the same at a ground as intimidating as Ibrox I don’t reckon much is going to knock you out of your stride.
“Having to do that means the lads up there have good attitudes. That’s not to say players from elsewhere don’t have them too because they do.
“But Jamie has tasted some of the most demanding atmospheres you are likely to come across in football. And Ryan has done well too.”
Both Murphy and Flynn accumulated European experience, together with a combined total of 20 under-19 and under-21 caps, before their respective moves from Motherwell and Falkirk.
However, that pedigree was not reflected in their transfer fees with Murphy understood to have cost around £100,000 when his switch from Fir Park was processed five days ago.
United also possess a wealth of contacts in the Scottish Premier and Football leagues with chief scout Billy Dearden and head of football operations John Stephenson familiar figures on the Caldeonian circuit.
Indeed, Wilson highlighted the latter’s expertise as a driving force behind Murphy’s arrival although the winger also cited United’s “ambition” and determination to “play the right way” as influential.
Wilson said: “Money is becoming increasing important now and players in Scotland, for various different reasons, offer good value.
“But, of course, there are also bargains to be had elsewhere too if you work hard enough and that’s why we are always looking.”
Did you know? Murphy played against Panathinaikos and Levante when Motherwell ventured into Europe earlier this season. Flynn counts Vaduz of Liechtenstein as former opponents.