"It's not an ideal situation" - Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder on West Ham target John Lundstram's possible involvement against the Londoners
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Together with Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers, David Moyes’ side are reportedly among the clubs monitoring Lundstram’s situation following United’s admission he can leave South Yorkshire in January.
Although John Fleck’s return from injury could prevent Wilder from being placed in a difficult position ahead of West Ham’s visit - “It’s not an ideal situation and I want ideal situations” - the United manager told The Star he is prepared to select Lundstram against the visitors from the capital.
“I’ve talked about this for a long time,” Wilder said, referring to Lundstram’s continued involvement despite the breakdown in talks between United’s hierarchy and the 26-year-old’s agent. “I’d love John to stop.
“Whoever I pick, they’ll go out there. Whatever happens, there’s no downside to John going out there and doing well.”
Previously of Oxford, Lundstram was one of United’s standout performers at the beginning of last season as they laid the foundations for their ninth placed finish. However, he chose to reject the terms Bramall Lane’s board of directors, with Wilder’s agreement, chose to offer him earlier this year.
Clearly frustrated by the breakdown in negotiations, Wilder has nevertheless refused to omit Lundstram from his plans - even though, had Fleck not suffered a back problem on international duty with Scotland, many behind the scenes suspect he would have been tempted to take a different course of action.
Sander Berge, whose arrival from Genk threatened Lundstram’s place in the starting eleven during the second-half of the 2019/20 campaign, is a doubt for the meeting with West Ham following a Covid-19 outbreak in Norway’s squad earlier this week. United, who have yet to win this term, are in consultation with the Norwegian health authorities about Berge’s availability although he is believed to have tested negative for the virus after returning to England.
"We’ve left that with the medical people,” Wilder said. “Genuinely, I’ve left it up to them and we’ll see what happens.”