Sheffield United: 'If you follow this person's lead, you can earn a new deal,' John Lundstram told
John Lundstram can earn a new contract with Sheffield United if he continues his encouraging start to the new Premier League season, manager Chris Wilder has announced.
Lundstram, the former Oxford midfielder, has been an ever present for United since their promotion from the Championship despite featuring only sporadically last term.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's game against Leicester City, Wilder told Lundstram to follow George Baldock's lead if he wants to extend his present agreement which expires next summer. Baldock, who recently attracted a bid from Celtic, put pen to paper on a deal which ties him to Bramall Lane until 2022 earlier this week.
"On John, go and earn the next contract," Wilder said. "That's what I told George. The key for me is always the next challenge. His challenge is now for him to produce a strong of performances which justfies that contract."
After appearing destined for the exit door following United's climb out of the second tier, Lundstram continued his renaissance by scoring the winning goal when Crystal Palace visited South Yorkshire four days ago.
Although Wilder refused to open contract talks with Mark Duffy during United's pre-season preparations - "He won't dictate to me when he signs a new contract and neither will his agent" - he did invite Baldock to the negotiating table before the meeting with Palace. Duffy has since joined Stoke City on loan.
"We spoke to George over the summer and there was a little bit of interest," Wilder said. "We looked at his contract, when he came to us (from MK Dons), and it needed improving. Pound for pound, he'd just delivered his vest performance for the football club (against Palace). We want him to grow with this club."
Urging Lundstram to use Baldock as an inspiration, Wilder added: "We're not always buying perfect players, we're buying players who can grow. The market we're in is potential as well as talent.
"George is a player who has worked extremely hard. He wants to improve, he wants to learn about it and he wants to get better. We'll take time out with them but they have to have the attitude. George has."