AS someone who prefers to spend his time working with players rather than politicking, Danny Wilson finds transfer deadline day excruciating agony.
Given the Sheffield United manager’s distaste for the whispers, rumours and hysteria which dominate this period of the footballing calendar, a satisfied smile will have spread across his face when the 11pm deadline passed last night.
Having allayed fears that a squad well equipped to challenge for promotion would be systematically dismantled, Wilson was instead left to reflect on a positive 24 hours’ worth of business, with one of the region’s most respected figures endorsing his decision to bring Will Hoskins to Bramall Lane from Brighton.
Ronnie Moore, who handed Hoskins his professional debut as a
youngster at Rotherham nine years ago, told The Star his arrival has enhanced United’s Championship credentials.
“Will is the type of player who is capable of getting you out of that division,” Moore said. “And I mean out of the front door rather than the back.
“He’s got that extra half a yard of pace which makes him difficult to mark and enables him to work off the shoulder of defenders. But that doesn’t mean to say Will only thrives on a ball over the top. He’s technically very sound too and he makes things happen for those around him.”
Hoskins, who has initially moved to United on loan, left Millmoor for Watford as part of the £1.2 million deal which also spirited his new teammate, Lee Williamson, to Vicarage Road in 2007. Following brief spells with Millwall and Nottingham Forest, he joined Bristol Rovers on the eve of the 2010/11 campaign before transferring to the American Express Community Stadium eight months ago.
“Will looked as if he was going to go all the way to the very top of the game when he came through the ranks,” Moore said. “But I wouldn’t say he’s under-achieved because if he hadn’t have got a few injuries then he’d probably be there now.
“If United can keep him out on the park then he’ll be a real asset for them. He’s got a good attitude and, in terms of his ability, there’s no question.”
Speaking earlier this month, Wilson went on record to claim that, with barely a cigarette paper between those teams chasing leaders Charlton Athletic, goals would emerge as the most valuable currency in the scramble for Championship football. Hoskins, whose predatory instincts saw him score 20 goals in 47 appearances for Rovers, adds competition for places
and an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to prosper at League One level.
where the back of the net is,” Moore said. “He’s excellent in and around the area and knows the right positions to take-up.
“Because of that, he makes it easy for others to create chances and opportunities. Having seen the way that Danny likes his teams to play, I think it’s fair to say he should fit in really well.
“He’s also got the right personality to handle being on a big stage. He’ll enjoy it at Bramall Lane.”
Brighton turned down an undisclosed offer - believed to be in the region of £500,000 - from Bournemouth for Hoskins last week. Unbeknown to United, that decision effected their own recruitment plans, with officials at the Seward Stadium instead opting for Crawley Town’s Matt Tubbs. Steve Evans, the Town manager, promptly used that money to fund the capture of Blackpool’s Billy Clarke, beating off competition from United and an unnamed Championship club in the process.
“I’ve joined a very progressive team,” Clarke said.