Is Southend's Anthony Wordsworth the man to send Sheffield United up?
The Daily Mail believe that both Championship side Rotherham and League 1 title hopefuls Sheffield United are monitoring Southend United midfielder Anthony Wordsworth, with both keen to add him to their squads as they desperately seek to ensure that they are playing second division football next season.
The former Ipswich man has impressed with his goalscoring displays for the Shrimpers as his comeback from injury in September sparked a revival in form for Phil Brown’s team, propelling them from 22nd in the league to 6th in under three months. With his contract set to expire in the summer, a move may be possible.
Southend themselves have been guilty of allowing a number of key players depart when their contracts have expired in recent years, with Barry Corr, Daniel Bentley and Jack Payne among those to leave after running down their contracts in the past two years, and no new deal for the ex-Colchester midfielder seemingly on the horizon.
That could open the door to a move in January if the Blades or the Millers can make a substantial bid. Wordsworth has largely stayed in the south-east throughout his career but did spend a brief spell on loan at Rotherham where he scored one goal in nine games in 2014, but the 27-year-old may prefer the attraction of a promotion battle under Chris Wilder if he does opt to leave Roots Hall.
Wordsworth is an attacking playmaker who is capable of playing in a central midfielder pairing as well as in a more advanced role, often looking to bring wingers and forwards into the game with his superb range of passing. With seven goals in 17 games this season, he has also shown his good quality finishing that has seen him become the club’s top scorer this campaign despite missing almost two months of the season.
For Wilder, Wordsworth may not be the missing ingredient to a side who have scored more goals than all but one team in the league in 2016/17, but he would undoubtedly add more quality to midfield, where depth has been lacking at times. After years of trying, this may finally be the year in which the Sheffield outfit gain promotion from the third tier and any addition which could help that would be considered.
Whether a January move is possible seems unlikely, with Phil Brown expected to be hugely reluctant to allow Wordsworth to leave for anything less than a massive fee, but if the Blades can poach Wordsworth on a free transfer in the summer then he could be a very good signing for a side looking for Championship experience after promotion.
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