Sheffield United star aiming to prolong career after pundit’s “dream team” compliment following landmark game

Oliver Norwood has been hailed as one of the division’s most effective players after reaching the milestone of 450 career league games – and setting himself the target of playing long into his thirties.
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The midfielder has been one of United’s most influential players this season, picking up his latest assist on Boxing Day as United beat Coventry City to further consolidate their push for a return to the Premier League.

His performances this season have come against the backdrop of an uncertain future, with his contract at Bramall Lane set to expire in the summer as things stand. He has made no secret of his desire to remain in South Yorkshire and prolong a career which saw him reach the 450 league game mark against the Sky Blues.

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“It’s decent enough, hopefully a lot more yet to come,” was his reaction. “It’s obviously a good milestone. I’ve got a good injury record, touch wood, and I’m enjoying my football and loving every minute of it at the moment. Long may it continue. Hopefully I can play long into my thirties and 40 … you never know.”

Norwood recently admitted to The Star that he is perhaps fortunate to have such a good injury record, but teammate Ben Osborn believes the former Northern Ireland international’s availability is “testament to him, how he goes about his business and looking after his body”.

“He’s been super consistent for a number of years now and it’s actually an unbelievable achievement to play that many games,” the United midfielder added. “Fair play to him.”

Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United applauds the fans: Lexy Ilsley/ SportimageOliver Norwood of Sheffield United applauds the fans: Lexy Ilsley/ Sportimage
Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United applauds the fans: Lexy Ilsley/ Sportimage

Former United striker Carl Asaba, now a pundit on local radio and United’s in-house SUTV channel, added: “If you were going to make your dream team in the Championship, it would start with [Norwood].

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“You’d build your team around him because he is just an incredible passer of the ball. He’s got great vision, he tackles, he’s everywhere and he really does call the tune for this team.”

Barring illness or injury Norwood is expected to make his 182nd appearance in United colours on Thursday night at Blackpool, as the Blades look to further consolidate their push for the Premier League.

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