A club in the shadow of more illustrious neighbours in recent years, few would have had the Blades anywhere near the promotion mix during the summer despite romping to the League One title.
And while relegated Premier League side Middlesbrough topped the league’s spending table with a whopping £50m ahead of the new campaign, Sheffield United spent a meagre £2m in bolstering their own squad.
And although the Blades expenditure was also not the lowest – that accolade going jointly to QPR, Millwall and Bolton Wanderers – where Sheffield United were successful was in the characters they brought to Bramall Lane.
All young, hungry players and/or with a point to prove, mixed with a couple of loan players from the Premier League elite.
There are no egos or household names, the majority coming from lower and non-league football, who have been assembled into a well-drilled side with a togetherness that sees everyone fighting for each other until the end.
The personnel may not be of a Germanic persuasion, but it’s very much a similar approach that helped propel Huddersfield Town from perennial Championship strugglers to top-flight promotion last May.
Blades boss Chris Wilder also provides another intriguing Town parallel – the 50-year-old providing a local connection to a long-suffering fan base, having grown up in nearby Stocksbridge supporting the side.
If Wilder’s background has traits similar to those of Town chairman Dean Hoyle, his post-match comments are textbook David Wagner - urging his side to just enjoy the current upward trajectory while not losing focus.
Similar to Town’s run last season, critics argue this ‘Wilder Revolution’ cannot last, but after the Blades claimed a third successive victory last Friday night against Leeds they went top of the table with a quarter of the campaign played.
History has a funny way of repeating itself and, on current form, it would be hard to bet against Sheffield United being the latest Yorkshire underdogs to upset the established order come next May.