STEVE Simonsen last night claimed Sheffield United teammate Kevin McDonald is the most technically gifted midfielder in League One competition.
As Danny Wilson’s side prepare for their top-of-the-table showdown with leaders Charlton Athletic, the former England under-21 international goalkeeper identified McDonald as one of the potential match-winners the visitors possess within their squad.
“If there is anyone better than Kevin out there at the moment then I’ve not seen them,” Simonsen said. “He’s really blossomed in recent weeks and when he gets on the ball his range of passing is something else.
“The only thing missing from his game at the moment is a goal or two but he’s got the ability to rectify that.”
Second-placed United will move to within a point of their opponents if they win at The Valley today.
Wilson, who has revealed winger Ryan Flynn is available for selection after recovering from illness, described McDonald’s performance during last weekend’s victory at Bury as “excellent” after watching the Scot create two of the visitors’ three goals.
Simonsen added: “Passing isn’t the only aspect of Kevin’s game though.
“He breaks play up, he knows when to step in and change the tempo if that’s what is needed at the time.
“There’s plenty more to Kevin than just spraying the ball about the pitch.”
Wilson’s hopes of bringing McDonald’s compatriot, John Fleck, to Bramall Lane were thwarted by Barry Ferguson’s decision to intervene in the tug of war for the Glasgow Rangers youngster’s services.
garded by Fleck as a “mentor” according to sources north of the border, urged the 20-year-old to reject a loan to United and join him at Blackpool instead.
That plea, rather than advice from some members of his camp that South Yorkshire would be a better option, turned Fleck’s head.
Although Rangers’ attempts to try and insert a 28-day recall clause into the agreement prevented Blackpool from finalising the deal until Thursday evening, the midfielder eventually completed his transfer to Bloomfield Road.
“I met with John and we had really positive talks,” Wilson said earlier this week. “They
went well but it could be difficult to bring him in for a number of reasons including one (the paperwork) that I won’t go into.”
Wilson is also monitoring Kyle Hutton’s situation at Ibrox but claimed progress is unlikely until Rangers’ injury crisis abates.
“Kyle is someone we’ve looked at but he won’t be going anywhere until the situation up there changes,” said Wilson.
Meanwhile, Charlton must offer Bradley Wright-Phillips a new contract if he features against United.
The 26-year-old has a clause in his present terms which triggers a 12-month option once he has played 25 league matches this season.
Fellow marksman Yann Kermorgant is being tracked by Glasgow Celtic after scoring seven goals in 15 starts for the Londoners.
emerged as a Parkhead target after manager Neill Lennon failed to recruit Jay Bothroyd on loan from QPR.
Kermorgant, aged 30, would command a fee of around £1m if he leaves Charlton.