Wolves transfer news: Nuno keen on Sheffield United star

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie receiving instructions from Chris Wilder

The Sun reports that Wolves are planning to make a move for Sheffield United forward Oli McBurnie in the upcoming transfer window.

What is the latest transfer news involving McBurnie?

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is keen on McBurnie, who he feels could provide competition for Raul Jimenez next year.

The Mexican forward is currently sidelined after suffering a fractured skull against Arsenal in November.

How much is McBurnie worth and when does his contract expire?

McBurnie is expected to cost Wolves £15m to bring him over to Molineux.

The 24-year-old signed for Sheffield United back in 2019 for £17.19m, and has a further two years on his contract at Bramall Lane.

What are McBurnie's stats this season?

The Scotland international has endured a difficult campaign in 2020/21, and battled with fitness problems in December and January.

After netting six top-flight goals last season, he has managed just one in 22 appearances this season - only one more than Wolves' January signing Willian Jose.

However, McBurnie has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in the air. According to WhoScored, he has won 6.3 aerial duels per game this term - comfortably the highest number within the Sheffield United squad.

By comparison, Jose has won just 2.3 aerial duels per match since his arrival at Wolves at the start of 2021.

What has Chris Iwelumo said about McBurnie?

McBurnie may have struggled to find the net this year, but former Scotland attacker Chris Iwelumo still rates him highly.

Speaking to BBC Sport in November, Iwelumo said: "I think he's quality. He ticks all boxes as a striker - mobility, presence, link-up play. He puts his head where it hurts and is an absolute pain for defenders.

"With the right service, he can be unplayable."

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Should Wolves have gone for McBurnie sooner?

Back in January, Wolves had to find a replacement for the injured Jimenez. They went with Jose, but that now appears to have been a mistake. The 29-year-old is yet to get off the mark at his new club.

Wolves have won just three league games in 2021, and are currently languishing in 14th place - a significant drop from the back-to-back seventh-placed finishes which they achieved in the previous two seasons. It feels like a wasted campaign for the team, especially since the turn of the year.

But things could have been much different if they'd brought in McBurnie over the winter. The Blades frontman has played in England since 2013/14, and would have therefore needed less time to settle into life in the Midlands.

He also offers more of a presence that Jose, using his heading ability to bring those around him into play and earning praise from Iwelumo for his linkup play. Furthermore, at five years Jose's junior, he'd be a wiser long-term investment - albeit Jose's move currently being a loan rather than a permanent deal. 

McBurnie may well prove to be a good signing for Wolves if they manage to lure him away from Sheffield United at the end of the season. But they could have done with him six months sooner,  rather than wasting the second half of this term waiting for Jose to finally come good. 

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