Sheffield United: Lys Mousset told 'You must lose weight' before being considered for first team selection again

Lys Mousset has been told he must lose weight before being considered for Sheffield United’s starting eleven.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 2:49 pm

The centre-forward returned to first team training earlier this week, after a combination of injury and illness forced the latest in a long line of absences since his arrival at Bramall Lane three years ago.

Out of contract at the end of the season and unlikely to be offered a new contract given his chequered fitness record, Mousset published footage of himself working out with a personal trainer on social media ahead of tomorrow’s game against Derby County.

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Commenting on the 25-year-old, whose conditioning was also a source of concern and then frustration for his predecessor Chris Wilder, United manager Paul Heckingbottom said: “Lys has been back in. He’s working hard.

“He was doing that, then he got Covid-19. There’s steps you need to take, to see how players are reacting. Lys is aware he needs to lose weight and get fitter so, to be fair to him, he’s trying to do something about that.”

Fellow United striker Oli McBurnie also suffered complications after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this season. Heckingbottom, who will miss the trip to Park Park after contracting it following Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers, revealed the already slender McBurnie had “lost a lot of weight” and then “struggled for energy” before “getting ill again with something else because of all of that”.

Lys Mousset in action for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

However, unlike McBurnie, Mousset’s professionalism and ability to stay fit and healthy have long been questioned by members of United’s coaching staff. Boasting explosive pace and a ruthless finisher when focused, their biggest headache should be persuading him to remain in South Yorkshire amid interest from the Premier League. The fact that, despite those gifts, there has been precious little concrete interest in Mousset since his £10m switch from AFC Bournemouth is a sign that word about his lack of focus has spread through English football.

Mousset is likely to feature in Heckingbottom’s plans for the meeting with County, although he does hope John Egan and Enda Stevens will both be available for selection after missing the third round clash at Molineux.

Sheffield United centre-forward Oli McBurnie (left) suffered dramatic weight lose after testing positive for Covid-19: Simon Bellis / Sportimage