Sheffield United: QPR expert reveals Luke Freeman's greatest strength and backs ace to flourish in Premier League
It's been a busy week for the Blades, with club transfer fee record-breaking signing Luke Freeman being unveiled on Tuesday.
The versatile midfielder is set to play a key role for the Blades next season, so we asked West London Sport journalist David McIntyre to give us the low-down on United's exciting new signing.
When asked whether QPR fans were disapointed to lose their 2018/19 Supporters Player of the Year, the journalist said: “They're generally disappointed, but I think most accepted that he would move on.
“It's a significant loss for Rangers, who'd be silly to try to fully replace him directly. They're much more likely to revamp the side with more of an emphasis on pace up front.”
Indeed, the Hoops have stepped up their transfer activity in recent days, bringing in two exciting prospects on loan – Manchester City's Matt Smith, and Tottenham Hotspur's Luke Amos.
Having never played a top tier match before, some have questioned whether Freeman can cut the mustard in the Premier League, however, McIntyre claimed the 27-year-old was more than capable of adapting.
He said: “There's every chance Luke will now take his game up another level during what should be the peak years of his career. But in my view, he'll need to do that in order to make an impact.
“In the Championship he's been excellent at finding pockets of space and using the ball effectively. But Premier League players are much, much quicker to read the game and close down, and I think that'll be a challenge for him.”
He continued: “He did take some time to adapt to the Championship with Bristol City, having looked a class above for them in League One. That said, his set-piece delivery will be an asset any level.”
Set-pieces are likely to play an important part in the Blades' gameplan next season, as they look to put opponents to the sword with swiftly executed, clinical training ground routines.
It sounds like Freeman could play a pivotal role in this approach, with McIntrye revealing: “He's a threat from free-kicks and corners from either side, especially from the right when whipping the ball in with that left foot. In tight games, that can make all the difference.”
United fans will get to see their first glimpse of the former Arsenal starlet in action on 12th July, when the Blades take on La Liga side Real Betis in a pre-season friendly at the Estádio Algarve.