Sheffield United have signed the ‘next big thing’ to emerge from English football’s lower leagues after unveiling former Oxford midfielder John Lundstram.
That is the verdict of Alan Knill who described the 23-year-old as a “bargain” following his move to Bramall Lane.
United paid an undisclosed fee to acquire Lundstram’s services earlier this week and are expected to name him in the squad which visits Eastleigh for their final pre-season friendly ahead of the new season tomorrow night.
Knill, the Championship club’s assistant manager, said: “We think he’s a bargain to be honest. I don’t get involved in the fees but, for us to get him, we think it’s a bargain for us. Outside of (Ollie) Watkins who went to Brentford, we think John is probably the next big talent in the leagues below. We’re delighted to get him.”
United return to competitive action when Dean Smith’s side travels to South Yorkshire in nine days time. Lundstram, who started his career at Everton before joining Oxford, becomes the sixth new player to join United since they won lifted the League One title last term.
“He was always the one you pinpointed ‘if you stop Lundstram, you stop them.’ That’s how much respect we pay him,” Knill said. “You can’t just have eleven starters if you want to do well. You have to have eleven starters behind them as well.”
“Fortunately we’ve seen a lot of him; at Everton and during his time at Oxford,” Knill added. “He’s a very good player and he adds competition to the central midfield. We like the fact that he’s been at a bigger club and then gone out, grafted, and progressed. We’ve signed him to be a player for us for the next whatever years. We think we can develop him.”