Sheffield United midfielder closes in on first Premier League start

Mo Besic could make his first Premier League start for Sheffield United when Aston Villa visit Bramall Lane after impressing Blades manager Chris Wilder with his commitment and focus behind the scenes.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:28 pm
Corry Evans of Blackburn Rovers out jumped by Mo Besic (centre) and Kean Bryan during Sheffield United's EFL Cup win earlier this season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international thrust himself into contention following an eye-catching cameo appearance at Norwich City last week, helping United negotiate safe passage through the closing stages stages of the contest and claim an important 2-1 win.

But it is Besic’s application during training, despite finding opportunities in short supply since leaving Everton during the close season, which has captured Wilder’s imagination ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with another newly promoted club.

“The fact Mo has stayed switched on tells you about the commitment he has shown to this football club,” Wilder explained.

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“Obviously everyone wants to play all the time.

“But he’s stayed professional at all times and you can’t do what he did, at a really important period of the game as well, without being that.

“He’s put the work in and kept the right attitude. I think that was plain to see.”

Signed on loan to boost United’s top-flight experience, Besic has nevertheless made only four appearances for Wilder’s team after arriving on loan from Goodison Park.

The 27-year-old was among a number of deals United completed after climbing out of the Championship in April.

But like Ben Osborn and Luke Freeman, previously of Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers, he has found the midfield triumvirate of Oliver Norwood, John Fleck and John Lundstram difficult to break up.

However, with the latter two facing an automatic suspension if they are cautioned during United’s next three outings, chances are likely to present themselves over the Christmas period.

They travel to Brighton and Hove Albion next weekend, before hosting Watford on Boxing Day.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of always being ready,” Wilder said.

“We need lads pushing to get in (the starting eleven) and, to do that, they’ve got to be giving everything, which they are.

“I’m delighted with the approach being shown.”