Sheffield United: Iliman Ndiaye's contract could be revised after Senegal call

Sheffield United could be forced to consider adjusting Iliman Ndiaye’s contract to reflect his status as an international player if the midfielder appears for Senegal against Benin tomorrow night.

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Despite having only just completed his first season of senior football, the 22-year-old was summoned into the African champions’ squad for both the meeting with Michael Dussuyer’s side and next week’s visit to Rwanda as they look to qualify for next year’s finals in Algeria.

Ndiaye signed a new deal with United at the beginning of last term, when Paul Heckingbottom’s predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic intervened to break the impasse which had developed between Ndiaye’s representative and a member of Bramall Lane’s hierarchy following his debut towards the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Given that Ndiaye had made only two appearances for United at the time, that agreement is unlikely to have contained a clause entitling him to any further benefits in the event of a call-up by his adopted country. Rhys Norrington-Davies, Ndiaye’s team mate in South Yorkshire, was rewarded by United when he made the breakthrough with Wales during a spell on loan at Luton Town.

Aliou Cisse, who led Senegal to their first AFCON title in Cameroon four months ago, has spoken of his admiration for Ndiaye’s talents after drafting him into his plans. The youngster, previously of Boreham Wood, was born in France but has chosen to represent the Lions of Teranga because of his Senegalese father.

Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye has been in fine form of late: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

“We will enter the match against Benin with humility,” said Cisse, adding: “They are not coming to Dakar as victims.”

Cisse’s decision, which came after Ndiaye emerged as a driving force behind United’s march into the Championship play-offs, reflects the former non-league player’s growing status in the game and will not have gone unnoticed by those Premier League clubs who elected against signing him before scouts at the Randox Health Academy organised a move north.

Ndiaye is not the only member of Heckingbottom’s squad in action this month, with Sander Berge reporting for duty with Norway, goalkeeper Adam Davies joining Norrington-Davies in the Wales side which faces Ukraine in a World Cup shoot-out and John Egan and Enda Stevens spending time with the Republic of Ireland. George Baldock made his debut for Greece against Northern Ireland last night.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom is a huge admirer of Iliman Ndiaye: Cameron Smith/Getty Images
Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye has been called-up by Senegal: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.