Although Billy Sharp’s goal-scoring escapades have been grabbing all the headlines for Sheffield United this year, another player at the club has arguably been equally as important in their hunt for promotion.
Enda Stevens has gone from strength to strength since joining the Blades from Portsmouth in 2017 and has been a pivotal player for the club this season.
The 28-year-old, who plays as an attacking full-back natural at Bramall Lane, has demonstrated an outstanding level of consistency in the Championship, starting all but one of United’s 38 fixtures in the second tier.
A fantastic technician who is known for his outstanding work-rate off of the ball, Stevens has provided seven assists for his team-mates yet his defensive cover has also been extremely important when you consider Wilder’s system. The unique nature of allowing his club’s three central defenders to attack with the ball means that either the left or the right-back have to fill-in at the back, something of which the former Pompey ace does admirably.
With the Blades currently second in the Championship standings with just eight games left to play this season, Stevens could be handed a second opportunity of playing in the top flight. A frustrating time whilst at Aston Villa saw him only make seven Premier League appearances for the club as he was loaned out on four occasions to Doncaster Rovers (twice), Northampton Town and Notts County before leaving in 2015.
A return to the pinnacle of English football would be a superb achievement for a player who just two years ago was playing for Portsmouth in League Two. Stevens’ resurgence in recent years could be completed in May but in order for this to be achieved, he must avoid injury as it is clear that he is one of the Blades’ key players, even if his contributions do go under the radar.
If he is sidelined due to injury or suspension, the Republic of Ireland international will undoubtedly be missed by United who may even have to adjust their system to deal with his absence.
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