Sheffield United: John Lundstram will be a top player for Blades, says boss Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder described John Lundstram's performance against Sunderland as a coming-of-age moment for the Sheffield United midfielder.
Lundstram, a summer signing from Oxford, scored his team’s first goal during the 3-0 victory over Chris Coleman’s side in front of a 30,668 crowd at Bramall Lane.
Wilder, who has been a staunch supporter of the 23-year-old since bringing him to South Yorkshire, insisted his display during United’s penultimate home match of 2017 proved he is capable of filling the void created by Paul Coutts’ season-ending injury.
“I’ve maintained it all along about John,” the United manager said. “He’s a young player, he’s a good player and, if you put four or five seasons on him, you’re going to be talking about a top, top player.
“The pressure that’s been heaped on him has been a bit ridiculous to be honest. But he wants the ball. If you ask any footballer, any coach or any manager, that quality is enormous. When the sun is shining, everyone wants to get on the ball. But even when it’s not, he’s one who wants to play.”
United entered the game having lost four and drawn two of their six outings since Coutts broke his leg at Burton Albion last month.
But, with John Fleck and David Brooks also absent through suspension and illness respectively, they dominated the visitors from Wearside to end that barren run.
Lundstram combined with Mark Duffy to break the deadlock just before half-time before Richard Stearman, tasting success for the a first time in a United jersey, and George Baldock struck after the break.
“I’ve told you about John’s stats,” Wilder said. “He’s got a lot of comparisons with Paul Coutts. He makes just as many forward passes, he makes just as many completed passes and runs. He’s got to learn not to give it away cheaply at times but what I like is that he wants to make a decision and, more often that not, it’s the right one.”