Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder shoots down talk of rumoured showdown with Lys Mousset

Chris Wilder refused to be drawn on speculation centre-forward Lys Mousset missed Sheffield United’s defeat by Everton because of a behind the scenes bust-up, preferring to focus on the achievements of his squad over the course of the Premier League season instead.

By James Shield
Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 6:00 am
Chris Wilderrefused to comment on rumours of a bust-up with striker Lys Mousset. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)
Chris Wilderrefused to comment on rumours of a bust-up with striker Lys Mousset. (Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)

Mousset, a £10m summer signing from AFC Bournemouth, was a notable absentee as United lost their penultimate match of the campaign 1-0 - with Richarlison scoring the only goal of the game early in the second-half.

The result prompted Wilder to concede defeat in the battle for European football next term but, after being asked to comment on reports Mousset was omitted for disciplinary reasons, the United manager chose to shower praise on his side’s performances since being promoted last season instead.

“I don’t really want to comment about that situation at the moment to be honest,” Wilder said, in response to a question about Mousset’s failure to appear on the team sheet. “I do want to talk about what those boys out there and others have produced though because, for me, they have been one of the best newly promoted clubs in the division for a long, long time.

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“We aren’t a yo-yo club that has come up with the benefit of a parachute payment or anything like that. We’ve not had tons of money put into our back pockets.

“We are disappointed we’re not going to be able to do what we thought we could do. Of course we are. But how can I be critical of what those boys have done. How can I be critical of what my players have given me and the club over the season?”

United remained eighth in the table ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton, after the Brazilian’s header settled a contest where chances were at a premium. At the beginning of the campaign, one high profile pundit told Wilder’s men they would be “down by Christmas”. But they have won an army of new admirers with boldness of their approach, beating the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers over the course of the past year.

Wilder, who led United to the 2017 League One title during his first season in charge, said: “It’s difficult because I thought we deserved something from the game. There was nothing in it. And then you are talking about the overall situation we find ourselves in. That’s why, because we shouldn’t even be talking about being where we are, why I’m not going to be critical of those lads at all. There were a lot of tired bodies and tired minds out there, but they fought all the way through.”