Pep Guardiola has no doubt Chris Wilder would be challenging for Premier League glory if he managed Manchester City.
Wilder’s time at Sheffield United looked to be coming to an end as Guardiola spoke out on Friday, with the Blades propping up the top-flight table after mustering just 14 points from 28 games.
That is a far cry from the situation with Guardiola’s City, who have 68 points and look to be streaking towards a third championship in four seasons.
Yet Guardiola is known to rate Wilder, who led United to promotion in 2018-19 and to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League last term.
“If he would be here he would be fighting to be champion. If I would be in Sheffield maybe I would fight to not be relegated,” Guardiola told a news conference.
Speaking early in the afternoon, Guardiola was reluctant to say too much about Wilder before the manager’s exit from Bramall Lane was confirmed.
“Right now it’s not official. I’d prefer not to comment anything about that, but I have a good relationship with him from the time we’ve faced each other,” the former Barcelona boss said.
“Of course I wish him all the best if he’s still there or if it’s not the case.”
Why are Sheffield United in so much trouble?
Wilder’s team have scored just 16 league goals this season, with only Derby in 2007-08 (13), Aston Villa in 2014-15 (15) and Huddersfield Town in 2018-19 (15) scoring fewer at this stage of a Premier League campaign.
The Blades have created more chances (196) than Everton (194), who sit sixth in the table heading into the weekend, albeit far fewer than City (350) have carved out.
The South Yorkshire side have also committed fewer errors leading to goals (three) than Liverpool (nine), Chelsea (six) and Manchester United (four).
However, a shot conversion rate of just 6.58 per cent from Sheffield United is the worst in the Premier League, and their ‘big chance’ conversion rate of 21.62 per cent also puts them at the bottom of the pile.