Sheffield United: Striker is closing in on Premier League start
Lys Mousset is pushing for his first Premier League start in Sheffield United colours, Chris Wilder has admitted.
The Frenchman, who made his full debut for the club during last week's Carabao Cup tie against Sunderland, has primarily been used as a substitute since leaving AFC Bournemouth during the close season.
But after producing a series of exciting cameos from the bench, helping United take points at both Everton and Chelsea, the United manager is considering handing Mousset a more prominent role when his team visits Watford on Saturday.
"Mouss has been pushing," Wilder said. "He's been working hard and he can get us down the sides. He's settling in well."
Despite those words, United's coaching staff are expected to err on the side of caution when selecting their team for the trip to Hertfordshire with Mousset again set to be named among the substitutes. Having reported for pre-season training slightly out of shape - something Wilder attributed, albeit only in part, to the protracted nature of his move from the Vitality Stadium - there is a feeling he is still better equipped to be an impact player, using his power and pace to trouble defenders suffering from fatigue.
That means Mousset, who scored United's second goal at Goodison Park, could be forced to wait until after the international break before being truly let off the leash. With meetings against Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United all set to take place before the end of November, United, who are 12th in the table, believe a fully-fit Mousset could prove a potent weapon.
"We brought him on (against Liverpool) because we knew they'd be a point when they really went after things and tried to kick on," Wilder said. "If teams come at you, then having someone who is a real outlet can make them think about things more."