Sheffield United: Has former AFC Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset finally grown up?

Lys Mousset’s renaissance at Sheffield United has been attributed to the more mature approach he has adopted towards his football in recent weeks.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:20 pm

Slavisa Jokanovic made the claim ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s game against Blackpool, after telling The Star he expects the French centre-forward to be available for selection despite suffering a minor calf injury during last weekend’s win over Barnsley.

Mousset scored twice before being substituted at Oakwell, taking his goals tally to three in two appearances having also found the back of the net when United dispatched Stoke City eight days earlier.

With his time in South Yorkshire overshadowed by fitness and off-the-pitch issues, Mousset appeared to be heading into obscurity until Jokanovic, impressed by his pre-season performances, handed him one last chance to salvage his United career.

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Although a hamstring problem sustained on the opening weekend of the new campaign briefly halted Mousset’s progress, the former AFC Bournemouth striker has been in superb form since returning to fitness.

And although he warned Mousset must continue to show the same respect for his profession which has prompted that revival, Jokanovic has made a pledge to the 25-year-old: ‘If you help yourself, I will do everything within my power to help you.’

“Yes, Lys is working hard and trying to improve himself,” the United manager said. “We are here to help him spend more time on the field. On another side, he has a responsibility too. We expect collaboration from him.

“But he is working hard and is in a positive mood. I hope this mood can help him grow up and be in a position to help us.”

Sheffield United centre-forward Lys Mousset is expected to face Blackpool at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Speaking earlier this week, Jokanovic admitted he was surprised to discover that Mousset has yet to complete a full game since completing his transfer to United in 2019. The Serb’s latest comments suggest he suspects the £10m signing’s well-publicised lapses in discipline were born out of boredom and frustration during periods of inactivity rather than an inherent character flaw.

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“Lys Mousset is participating in the last three games, played in two and made a really good job in both of those games for us,” said Jokanovic, whose side were beaten by Millwall after overcoming City. “I hope, he can improve his fitness. And be more times available for us.”

Despite predicting Mousset, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is likely to face Neil Critchley’s 11th placed side, Jokanovic, whose team is 14th, will be without midfielder Sander Berge until after the international break. The Norway international has missed United’s last eight matches after withdrawing during the warm-up ahead of their visit to Hull City and is set to sit out at least three more.

Lys Mousset has been working hard behind the scenes, says Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Morgan Gibbs-White, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, is available again following suspension and will make an immediate return to the starting eleven.

Blackpool duo Kevin Stewart and Kenny Dougall are scheduled to undergo late fitness tests, with Critchley placing Callum Connolly on stand-by should either be declared unavailable.

“Blackpool will be a really hard opponent,” Jokanovic said. “They play their football with a lot of intensity and press. They are brave.”

Lys Mousset's time in England has been blighted by injury and off the pitch issues: Andrew Yates / Sportimage