Sheffield Utd have taken another step in their development as a Premier League mainstay by announcing the signing of Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Panagiotis Retsos on a six-month loan.
Greece international Retsos, 21, has made six appearances this season for the Bundesliga club.
Retsos began his career at Olympiacos and became the Greek club’s youngest-ever captain in 2017 before moving to Leverkusen later that year for a fee of nearly £16million.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “Greece defender Panos Retsos arrives at Bramall Lane from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen on an initial deal until the end of the season.”
Retsos is expected to provide extra back-up to what is already one the Premier League’s meanest defences.
Under Wilder, the centre-half trio of Jack O’Connel, John Egan and Chris Basham have excelled in England’s top flight, with their mark of 23 goals against good enough for second best behind runaway leaders Liverpool.
Retsos is a Blade ✍️ pic.twitter.com/ftL8TTw3AY
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) January 31, 2020
The defender becomes the Blades’ fifth signing in the current January transfer window, having previously completed the acquisitions of Jack Rodwell (Unattached, until end of season), Jack Robinson (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Sander Berge (Genk, £22million) and Dutch striker Richairo Zivkovic (Changchun Yatai, loan)
The last man on that list was also a deadline day signing, arriving to offset the loss of Callum Robinson to West Brom on loan.
Regarding his acquisition, Wilder told the club’s website: “People will recognise we do sometimes go left field with our signings, but we’ve worked very hard on this one, because we have had to.
“We know enough about him, we’ve kept tabs on Richairo for a while and tracked his progress.
“He is a Dutch international at ages under the senior level, he’ll be unpredictable to other teams, but we know what we’re getting and he wants to make the most of the opportunity.
“He will give us genuine pace at the top of the pitch. We’re learning all the time this season, but pace in the Premier League is key and Richairo is someone we think can kick us on.
“Hopefully things go well enough to turn it into a permanent move in the summer – this is another signing of a young player with an eye on the future.”