Sheffield United: As The Star first revealed, George Baldock is going Greek

George Baldock is poised to make his maiden appearance in the Greece squad after having his citizenship approved.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 11:28 am

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Sheffield United's George Baldock is set for Greece

As The Star exclusively revealed two years ago, Baldock informed officials in Athens that he was ready to switch international allegiances after being approached by a representative working on behalf of Gus Poyet’s predecessor John van’t Schip.

The process of formally welcoming him into the Hellenic Football Federation’s fold was delayed by red tape, before an untimely injury scuppered at least one call-up.

Sheffield United defender George Baldock is set to represent Greece for the first time: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

However, Baldock discovered earlier this month that Poyet wants to push the paperwork through after being appointed in February. With the defender providing the necessary documentation midway through last season, the former Uruguay and Chelsea midfielder has now provisionally included him in his plans for the forthcoming Nations League ties against Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Cyprus.

Born in Buckingham, Baldock qualifies by virtue of a Greek grandmother.

Speaking to this newspaper in 2020, the wing-back said: “I think there’s a possibility. I don’t want to say too much yet because it’s not there yet and there’s a long way to go. There’s a lot of paperwork to go through.”

Greece's Uruguyan head coach Gustavo Poyet: NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

Baldock, aged 29, made 27 appearances for United last term as Paul Heckingbottom’s side climbed from 16th to fifth in the table and reached the Championship play-offs. He took part in both legs of their semi-final against Nottingham Forest, starting the second leg at the City Ground where United were eventually beaten on penalties following a spirited comeback after trailing 3-1 on aggregate.

Baldock was also a member of the United side which gained promotion to the Premier League in 2019 under Chris Wilder.

Panos Retsos, now of Hellas Verona, encouraged Baldock to represent Greece during a spell on loan at Bramall Lane midway through Wilder’s reign in South Yorkshire.

George Baldock with his former Sheffield United team mate Morgan Gibbs-White: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“Panos is a top kad and he’s fitted in really well,” Baldock said at the time. “It’s funny because he sits near me in the dressing room, not right next to me but in my eyeline, and he wants me to go and do it.

“He’s not taught me any phrases yet but if it does happen, I’m sure he will.”