Sheffield United: Blades will bring "extra quality" to the Premier League, opponent admits

Sheffield United will bring "extra quality" to the Premier League according to a leading figure at AFC Bournemouth, their opponents on the opening weekend of the new season.

By James Shield
Thursday, 13 June, 2019, 22:54
Sheffield United travel to Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the Premier League season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Together with fellow newly promoted clubs Norwich City and Aston Villa, Steve Cook believes Chris Wilder's side possess both the level of support and expertise to hold their own at the highest level.

The defender, one of Eddie Howe's most senior players, said: "The three clubs coming up all have huge fan-bases so it will be terrific to play at their grounds.

Bournemouth's Steve Cook (left) and Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic: Mark Kerton/PA Wire.

"You couldn’t have asked for three bigger clubs to get promoted from the Championship. They will bring extra quality to the league because they all play very good football."

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Cook can speak with authority on making the transition from lower league to top-flight football, having joined Bournemouth when they were still a League One team. United were also languishing in the third tier when Wilder was appointed in 2016. The 51-year-old, who led them to second place in the Championship last term, has previously used Howe's squad as an example for his own to follow.

John Fleck, Jack O'Connell, Mark Duffy and Chris Basham are among those to make a similar journey while Enda Stevens, previously of Portsmouth and Doncaster Rovers, started his career with University College Dublin.

"Sheffield United will be a tough start for us," Cook, Bournemouth's leading Premier League appearance maker, said.

Chris Wilder: James Wilson/Sportimage