Chris Wilder reveals one of his favourite ever players is in Sheffield United's squad

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has described Chris Basham as one of the best players he has ever worked with after hailing the defender’s contribution to the club’s rise into the Premier League.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:01 am

Wilder was speaking ahead of tonight’s game against West Ham, which is expected to see Basham make his 251st appearance since arriving on a free transfer from Blackpool six years ago.

United were languishing in the third tier of English football when Wilder took charge at Bramall Lane in 2016 and, reflecting upon Basham’s performances since then, he said: “He’s one of my favourite players.

“When I finish managing and come out of the game and look back, he’ll be right up there in terms of the players I’ve coached and managed. He’s an absolute diamond of a lad.

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“He’s funny, quite dry and he leaves it all out there which is all you can ever ask.”

Basham, aged 31, has featured in all of United’s top-flight fixtures since helping them win promotion from the Championship last term. He was signed on a free transfer by Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Clough, and was also a member of United’s 2017 League One title winning squad.

“I’m never going to say he’s the most talented but, as an all-round player, Bash is right up there,” Wilder, whose side are eighth in the table, continued. “He’s done a fabulous job for me and the club.

“He was here before me and he suffered but he’s one who stayed the course. He puts an enormous amount in and what he’s achieved, there’s definitely more to come.”

Chris Basham (right) has played a huge role in Sheffield United's success, says manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“He trains full tilt everyday and is a brilliant guy to have around the place,” Wilder added. “I hope he stays for a few years longer because he’s played a major part in what we’ve achieved and he’s still got a part to play in the medium to long term.”

United drew 1-1 with West Ham, who appointed David Moyes as their new manager last month, in October.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Tim Goode/PA Wire.
Chris Basham is expected to make his 251st appearance for Sheffield United against West Ham: Simon Bellis/Sportimage