Former Hull City defender Alex Bruce has named the four players he believes have been pivotal to Sheffield United’s outstanding first season back in the Premier League.
After 27 games, the Blades sit in seventh place in the top flight, remarkably just four points adrift of the Champions League qualification places (BBC Sport) despite only being promoted from the Championship last term.
There have been several standout performers for Chris Wilder’s side this season and when asked to pick out their star man, Bruce struggled to single anyone out. Instead, he opted to choose four players who he thought had been key, naming John Fleck, John Lundstram, Jack O’Connell and Chris Basham as those who have impressed him the most.
Speaking about the Sheffield United players that he feels have stood out, Bruce told Football Insider: “I think Fleck’s done very, very well, Lundstram’s been brilliant for them, O’Connell and Basham.
“They’re the four players who’ve been with Chris for such a long period of time now, they’re the nucleus of the team and they’ve been fantastic.
“They’re well drilled, sometimes by keeping a core of players, and fair play to Chris for doing that and sticking by the players that he’s got, it would have been easy with the money of the Premier League to go and improve the team and chop and change.
“They’ve grown together, improved together, they all know their jobs and they’ve been unbelievable.”
As Bruce says, it is certainly difficult to single out individuals who have impressed the most for the Blades this season as it has been a real team effort. But there is no doubt that the players that he did choose have been terrific in the Premier League this term.
Fleck has been the heartbeat of the team, scoring five goals and providing two assists whilst also averaging 1.5 key passes per game (SofaScore). Lundstram has also been a threat from midfield, netting four times himself and also chipping in with a couple of assists (SofaScore).
Meanwhile, both O’Connell and Basham have been crucial to the South Yorkshire side’s outstanding defensive record. The duo have played in every single league game this season (Transfermarkt) and been instrumental as the team have conceded just 25 goals which is a tally only bettered by Liverpool (BBC Sport).
Blades fans, who has been your standout player this season? Let us know in the comments below…
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