Sheffield United open up about Lys Mousset's situation at Bramall Lane ahead of their visit to Fulham

Lys Mousset will take part in a behind closed doors development fixture next week after Sheffield United’s manager Chris Wilder confirmed the centre-forward, who will miss tomorrow’s visit to Fulham, needs to work on his fitness.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 10:29 pm

Despite recovering from a toe injury earlier this term, Mousset has featured only sporadically on the bench in recent weeks amid concerns about his overall conditioning.

Although he started last month’s FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers, the Frenchman has failed to make an appearance since United’s return from the south-west and, barring a major change of heart on Wilder’s part, will again be absent at Craven Cottage.

“Lys is playing in a behind closed doors game for the under-23’s on Monday,” he confirmed. “He needs that game.”

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Regarded as one of the most naturally gifted members of United’s squad, Mousset’s inability to build upon the progress he made midway through last term is a source of major frustration for Wilder and his coaching staff. A £10m signing from AFC Bournemouth following United’s promotion from the Championship two seasons ago, he returned to France to attend to a personal matter midway through last year before undergoing surgery to correct a foot problem sustained during a friendly against Preston North End.

Conceding Mousset has been unfortunate at times, Wilder nevertheless harbours suspicions that the player has contributed to his own difficulties because of a lack of professionalism away from the game.

Jack O’Connell, Sander Berge, John Egan, John Fleck and Jack Robinson are also set to miss the trip to west London, as United’s casualty list shows no indication of receding. Berge is being treated by a specialist in London as he recovers from a severed hamstring, although O’Connell has resumed light training at the Steelphalt Academy following what Wilder described as a “minor set back” in his battle to overcome a knee complaint which also required surgery.

“Jack being back in the grass does have a positive effect,” Wilder, whose side are 14 points adrift of safety, said. “He was out there yesterday doing some work and he’s a popular boy - incredibly important for us.”

Lys Mousset has been absent for most of Sheffield United's games this season: Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images

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Chris Wilder has spoken about Lys Mousset's situation ahead of Sheffield United's visit to Fulham in the Premier League: Simon Bellis/Sportimage