Questions over George Baldock's Sheffield United future after latest injury update amid Davies, Archer frustration

Sheffield United hit by two more big injury blows as Chris Wilder admits fitness issues "killing" Blades
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

George Baldock's Sheffield United future is in the spotlight again after Chris Wilder, the Blades boss, confirmed that the defender will miss the majority of the rest of the season through injury. The 31-year-old damaged a calf muscle on international duty with Greece last week.

Wilder initially suggested that the defender was "touch and go" to make Saturday's clash with Fulham but after a frustrating 3-3 draw, with saw United pinned back by two more late goals after leading 3-1, revealed that Baldock's prognosis was far bleaker. "He's out for six weeks after getting injured playing for Greece," Wilder said. "And I think there’s seven weeks left of the season."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wilder has struggled to hide his frustration at United's injury record in recent weeks, which not only extends to players being unavailable but also limits some of those who he is able to name in his starting XI to a set number of minutes before they are replaced. Vini Souza came off against Fulham with cramp while key men Oli McBurnie and Oliver Arblaster also made way before Rodrigo Muniz's acrobatic strike in the 93rd minute earned a point for Fulham.

Baldock is out of contract at the end of the season, as things stand, and only returned to the United starting line-up before the international break at Bournemouth for the first time this year. He has made just 11 starts this campaign and with Wilder keen to ensure that the fitness and availability levels at United are improved from next season onwards it begs the inevitable question whether Baldock's recent injury record will play a part in United's decision whether or not to extend his successful time at Bramall Lane.

Tom Davies, the former Everton man whose time at United has been punctuated by fitness issues since signing a three-year deal as a free agent in the summer, will also miss the next month after suffering a hamstring injury in training while Wilder has been told that £18.5m summer signing Cameron Archer, who damaged a calf at Shirecliffe, is making a "slow recovery".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We’re having to deal with little bits and pieces and it’s something I’ve talked at length about," Wilder added, "that is absolutely smashing us and killing us at the minute. You can take the situation with Bashy [who broke his leg at Fulham earlier in the season] and understand those sort of injuries but players going down with cramp and it looking like a battlefield at the end of the game, I don’t want this team to be in that place.

"We have to be fit, we have to be athletic, we have to be able to do the 90, the 100, the 110 and be flying and be on top. You’ve seen over the last two games [draws against Bournemouth and Fulham that saw the concession of late goals] that we’re off that and the biggest difficulty for me is addressing that mid-season. To set that bar and make sure they’re reaching that condition that means we’re strong in the back end of a game. And it’s obvious from the last two games that we’re not there."

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.